All Saints Church Lopen
Rector Rev. Julia Hicks, Rev. Bob Hicks Telephone: 73226
Angela Naunton-Davies. Telephone: 240 921
Liz Constable. Telephone: 240 912
Welcome all newcomers to the village. We need new blood to keep our beautiful church looking loved and cared for.
This is not an arduous task and anyone interested in joining the team should ring Rosemary on 240 850.
Please give this invitation your consideration.
History of Lopen Church
Image: MayJane- Sue.co.uk
The Church in Lopen is dedicated to All Saints. It is small in size and has a turret in the west end containing two bells. It was probably founded by one of the de Meriets, who by 1209 gave it to the canons of Bruton, rectors of South Petherton. From them it passed to the Chapter of Bristol in 1542, though the Pouletts, who rented the tithes from the Chapter, usually appointed the chaplains. The chaplain’s regular salary in the 16th century £2.13s.4d., increased by £6.13s.4d in 1600 in return for preaching sermons a year. The earliest known chaplain, Nicholas, occurs in 1253. John Vawdye, chaplain in 1577, was a Jersey man “not having the perfect English tongue and unlearned”. Most clergy could not hold Lopen alone, and in the 1650s it was held with Seavington St. Mary. From 1785 until 1835 John Temlpeman held it with Cricket St. Thomas, and held services there once a Sunday.
In 1851 there were usually 2 services each Sunday and the normal congregation amounted to 150 in the morning and 250 in the afternoon or evening, plus 60 Sunday School pupils.
Much work was done in the Church in the late 19th century under Dr. Billing the last resident clergyman, though enlargements and alterations in 1833-4 involving a new transept and the virtual rebuilding of the west end had already been done. This work swept away most of the earlier features, though a 12th century window head survives in the porch. The south doorway is of the 14th century, and the windows, heavily restored between 1874 and 1884, belong to the15th century when perhaps most of the earlier work was done.
The Sunday School room was converted from 2 cottages belonging to Church Farm in the 1880’s and was given in trust by Lord Poulett.
The bier house opposite the Church was built in 1933.