St Nicholas Church, Dunkeswell
Dunkeswell was settled by the Saxons and a small community had grown up in the sheltered spot, certainly by 800AD. Doduceswilla is listed in the Doomesday book as having a population of at least 11 families of freemen and several slaves under their Lord. Dunkeswell as it is known today now houses a population of over 1,600 within its parish boundaries. It is situated on the southern edge of the Blackdown Hills on a high plateau 240 metres above sea level that falls steeply down to valleys, dotted with dwellings and smallholdings, carved by rivers and streams.
The present Church of St Nicholas is at least the fourth on the site and was built between 1865 and 1868. Since 1868, the major change has been the replacement of the original tower, considerably and dangerously weakened by the vibration of the engines of the Dunkeswell based US Navy Liberators and Catalinas of Fleet Air Wing 7, from 1943-45. The tower had to be demolished urgently in 1947, not to be rebuilt for another seven years. In 1959, the bells were restored to the Tower. There is an eight sided Norman font with intriguing figures in the arcade of columns. A kitchen has been added and an outside WC. A loop system has been installed.
St Nicholas Church Activities
- We have a friendly and welcoming congregation and a strong community spirit. We are open to suggestions from both church members and non-church members to enhance our worship and evangelising.
- Long standing link with the Methodist Chapel with whom we hold joint Bible Study Groups and quarterly United Services, including the Annual Covenant Service.
- Apart from other ‘Special Services’ our church is one of the few who still hold a service for the Battle of Britain. We also hold an annual American Memorial Service to remember those who served in Dunkeswell during the Second World War.
Current Church Officers
Churchwarden: There are currently no Churchwardens
Tower Bell Captain: Mrs Brenda Eastell: Tel: 01395 487117
Parochial Church Council
Chairman: Rev’d John Hayhoe
Vice Chairman: Mr Peter Girling
Treasurer: Mr Gordon Lewis
Planned Giving Officer: Mrs Elaine Power
Secretary: Mrs Barbara Simmonds
Deanery Synod Rep’s: Mrs Barbara Simmonds and Mr David Palmer
Safeguarding Rep: Mrs Barbara Simmonds: 01404 549107
Health & Safety/Fire Rep: Mr Gordon Lewis: 01404: 891872
Mr David Manley
Mrs Babs Groom
Mrs Carol Quinain
Mrs Carol Fouracre
Church Notices: Mrs Carol Fouracre
Flower Rota: Mrs Barbara Simmonds