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Celebrating 150 years of Frome church’s consecration

St Mary's Church

St Mary’s Church

PEOPLE in Frome and the surrounding area will mark the 150th anniversary of the consecration of St Mary’s Church, Innox Hill, on Sunday 26th January. There will be a special service to celebrate and recognise the milestone. 

As well as celebrating the church’s past, the service will also look to its future. The Bishop of Taunton, the Right Revd Peter Maurice, will conduct the service.

Father Neil Maxted, Vicar of St Mary’s, said it would be a “privilege and a joy” to welcome Bishop Peter to St Mary’s.

“During the service we will look back and give thanks for the vision of our fore bearers who built this church, and it will be an opportunity to remember the many occasions in which the church has played a part in people’s lives,” he explained.

The church is one of Frome’s hidden gems and perhaps best known for the unusual hanging rood in the form of a large anchor which was placed by Revd T Warrilow in April 1952.

The story of St Mary’s began on June 24th 1862 when Revd. William Bennett laid the foundation stone of the new church and work began.  The site was traditionally known as the Lady Mary Springfields; the Lady Mary spring can be found at the point where Park Hill Drive meets Clumber Drive.  Undoubtedly the ancient name helped to determine the dedication of the church.

St Mary’s which Revd Bennett had constructed is of an early English style, built in local stone most probably from Vallis Quarry, hammer dressed and pointed and relieved by bands of Bath stone.  Work went on steadily and by the end of 1863 the consecration was arranged with the bishop to take place on January 26th 1864.

The new church was consecrated by the Right Hon. and Right Rev. Baron Auckland, Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells.

The special service on 26th January marks the start of what will be a commemorative year for St Mary’s with a number of events planned throughout 2014 to mark this historical celebration.  Events will include a flower festival, a summer garden party, concerts and a series of special church services taking place throughout the year with invited preachers.

The special anniversary service begins at 11.00am on Sunday 26th January and will be followed by an informal lunch in the hall.

 

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