St. Andrew's Church, High Ham

 

                                                                                              

 

 

There is a monthly pattern of services, alternating between Eucharist at 11am, an early Communion at 8am and Evensong. Our Vicar, the Reverend Jess Pitman, organises family and school services and special celebrations for the great annual feasts such as Christmas, Easter, Harvest and Remembrance Sunday.

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Standing broadside to the village green in the heart of the village, the present church of St Andrew dates from 1476, when it was built to replace the earlier Norman foundation, itself a successor to the original 10th century church. Until the Reformation, it was controlled by the great Abbey of Glastonbury; today it forms part of a benefice comprising High Ham, Huish Episcopi and Aller. It is listed as a Grade I by English Heritage.

The exterior is dominated by the tower, whose lower part dates from the 14th century, while the outside walls of both nave and aisles are topped by battlements, with some of Somerset's quirkiest and most outstanding hunkypunks (local idiom for gargoyles) draining the roof.

Once through the porch, with its medieval statue of St Andrew and his saltire above the door, you'll find a church suffused with light, where the eye is immediately drawn to the rood screen dividing the nave from the chancel. Elegant and exuberant, this wooden structure, completed in 1499, is St Andrew's greatest treasure.

The oldest liturigical piece in the church is the Norman font, dating from around 1120, and the nave is overlooked by a positive troupe of carved angels. There are six bells; these are rung regularly.