St Barnabas Church dates from the 14th century and is at the heart of the community in Queen Camel, a village in south Somerset equidistant from the towns of Yeovil and Sherborne to the south. We form part of the Cam Vale Benefice within the Bruton & Cary Deanery in the Diocese of Bath & Wells. Having been closed for several months because of the pandemic, the church is now open each day and we are delighted to welcome visitors once more. For the moment, no leaflets, magazines are on display and, of course, there is no Visitors’ Book. Please do use the hand gel on arrival, wear a face mask and kindly observe social distancing.
The Revd Katharine Hawksley joined the Benefice in June 2020 and, thanks to the pandemic, has not had the easiest of starts with social distancing, church closures and lockdowns to navigate. In spite of all this, she has come through this difficult period with great fortitude and resolve and her ministry continues to grow and be welcomed not only in Queen Camel but among all the parishes within the Benefice.
We strive to offer support and fellowship to everyone through a wide range of services and formats each month which cater for young and old alike. These are always followed by refreshments and fellowship which form an integral part of our time together.
For those contemplating weddings, baptisms and funerals, we offer guidance and support to families and individuals throughout our community and also to the younger members through Camel Club and to mothers and small children with Bumps, Tots & Toddlers. When people are facing particular challenges in their daily lives, we offer practical support.
Continually we try to discover new ways of taking the church to the people by holding Songs of Praise style services outside during the summer; taking our Rogation Service on a local farm; visiting groups of the elderly in their community centre and carol singing around the village in December.
Looking after our church building and churchyard in as environmentally-friendly manner as possible is continually at the forefront of our minds. Much of the impetus for this has been led by the children in the parish.
See more of our beautiful church in this aerial video.
SERVICES AT ST BARNABAS
Sunday June 27th : Together at Ten Benefice Service with the Rev’d Katharine Hawksley at 10.00 am
An opportunity once a month for all the parishes to come together as one. Because of continuing Covid restrictions, including social distancing, please contact Morwenna Ford on 01935 850 300 or Paul Davis on 01935 850 139 if you wish to attend. Refreshments will be served afterwards.
There are no other services within the Benefice this Sunday.
Sunday 4th July : All Age Service with Julie Ebsworth starting at 9.30 am. Breakfast will be served beforehand from 9.00 am and refreshments will be available after the service. Everyone – and particularly families with children – is invited to join in this special service. If you would like to attend please could you let Morwenna Ford or Paul Davis know (their numbers are above).
Elsewhere in the Benefice there will be a service of Holy Communion in Corton Denham Church at 9.30 am and at the same time, Matins in Sparkford Church.
Lord’s Larder: Since the Coronavirus outbreak, people are ordering their supermarket supplies online with the result that donations for the Lord’s Larder have diminished dramatically. At the same time, demand is increasing with each day. For the moment we have had to suspend our collection of items. We understand, however, that the Lord’s Larder would greatly appreciate donations of money at this time. For further information please contact the Church Wardens.
The History of Our Church
The first mention of a church consisting of just a nave was in 1291. This was the forerunner of the present Church with extensive rebuilding taking place in the 14th and 15th centuries. The stonework is in Blue Lias and carved work in Hamstone.
The Tower (c1380) was built up against the earlier nave and is unique in Somerset being the only one created in five stages to a height of 96 ft. On completion of the tower, the nave roof was lifted to its present height and the north and south aisles constructed. This took place around 1400 as well as windows inserted on each side, greatly increasing the amount of light inside the building.
Within the nave can be found several notable features including the font, pulpit and lectern as well as the impressive Rood Screen.