St Michael & All Angels Enmore
In line with guidance from the government and the Church of England all churches, including St Michael's and All Angels, are currently locked and closed.
Welcome to Enmore which is a small village (population approximately 250) at the foot of the Quantock Hills. The village is spread out along a busy road between Bridgwater and the hills, without an obvious centre. There are two public houses, a golf club, a school and a village hall (the "Memorial Hall"), which houses many village activities (Garden Club, art club, a toddler group, dog-training and a quilt group, as well as many of the church-related social and fund-raising events). The church and a group of houses are on a quiet loop road. The population is fairly static, including a high proportion of retired people. Apart from farming, there is virtually no employment or industry in the village, so many people commute to either Bridgwater or Taunton, and a handful work in Bristol or London. The majority of people fall into occupational classes ranging from skilled workmen to professional (or retired from such work) encompassing a wide range of skills. There is no real poverty or unemployment and there is no social housing in Enmore.
St Michael and All Angels, originally a Norman church but with some Victorian additions and stained glass, has been much restored and is generally well cared for, as is the churchyard. The church has electric light and under-pew heating, a traditional organ, an electronic keyboard and a piano, and also floodlighting. We also have a peal of bells rung from time to time by visiting bell ringers. The last quinquennial survey was carried out in 2014. As expected, this revealed that repairs to the roof will be needed urgently. Fund-raising for this purpose has now begun, including an application for Heritage Lottery funding. Some re-ordering of the interior of the church has been proposed.
Services and Congregation
We consider ourselves to be in the central Anglican tradition. Most of our services use Common Worship with seasonal variations (and we have leaflets for the various church seasons to take advantage of the rich variety of liturgical material). The principal hymnal in current use is the Complete Anglican Hymns Old & New. The normal pattern of services (see page 7) is varied at festivals and, for example, for the Harvest Festival/patronal festival. Occasional lay-led services are held, notably a “quiet service” in Advent and a crib service for children just before Christmas. The regular congregation includes a number of older people of which about 20% live outside the parish (in Bridgwater or other parts of the benefice). Church attendance at festivals, particularly Christmas, is very much higher than on a typical Sunday. For example, the church is often filled to capacity for the annual Carols by Candlelight service, traditionally held on the Sunday before Christmas.
The Church also enjoys strong support from the local community with many non churchgoers giving support to the fabric fund and to fund-raising events in general. Church fund-raising events include a summer fete and, in many years, a Harvest Lunch or supper. These are also important events from the point of view of providing the local community with opportunities to meet. The organisation of these events is undertaken by the PCC and/or the congregation. Informal monthly coffee mornings are held at the Tynte Arms, raising money for the church and giving an opportunity for contact with a wider cross-section of the local community. There is also a monthly men’s breakfast for the benefice held at the Tynte Arms. In co-operation with the Village Hall Committee, quarterly quiz night social evenings (with a fish and chip supper) raise money for both church and village hall.
Enmore Church of England School was the first free school in England and was established by a former Rector in 1810. The school now has academy status. School services are held in the church on a regular basis. We value the relationship between the church and the school and would like to strengthen this further.
Missionary and Charity Support
Collections from some specific services are given to charity. In addition, harvest produce, where suitable, is given to the Salvation Army for distribution.