The Benefice of Watchet and Williton
Sunday 12th December 2021


John the Baptist: ‘sent to prepare Christ’s way’

First of all, we would like to say thank you to Sara Hempshall for the huge amount of (often thankless) work she has undertaken on our behalf over the last few years. Whilst we might not like being chased for our DBS checks and finding time to undertake training, it is an important part of our church life; potentially protecting ourselves, as well as others. Whilst Jackie has not been here very long she has still made a significant contribution, so thank you Jackie.

We now need to find one (or two) new volunteer safeguarding officers, to work across the benefice. Although Sara and Jackie are willing to continue until our APCMs, it will take time to recruit and train the right person.

A note from the latest  Diocesan Training Policy and Strategy, which might encourage you to think about the role…

“The Church has an ambition to make a paradigm shift in its relationship with safeguarding. This requires recognition that safeguarding needs to move away from something that is in some respects external/imposed upon the Church, to something that flows from within the soul of the Church. Safeguarding is at the centre of our faith, in our practice, in our worship, in our praying, and in our believing.”

If you are interested in applying, please speak to one of your churchwardens.

Today’s Worship and Readings
9.15am                 Parish Communion at St Peter’s
10.30am               Parish Communion at St Decuman’s
4.00pm                 Carols around the bonfire at St Peter’s
                               (don’t forget wellies and a torch)
Zephaniah 3.14-end
Psalm 146.4-end
Philippians 4.4-7
Luke 3.7-18

Both churches will usually be open every day between 9.00am and 3.30/4.00pm (approximately).

All are welcome to spend some quiet time in the peace of our beautiful buildings.

Dates for the week ahead:
Monday 13th December                   9.45am                                Morning Prayer at Holy Cross

                                                             12:00pm                               Funeral of Roy Binding at St Decuman's

                                                              2.00pm                                Journeying with the Magi at Holy Cross

                                                              7.00pm                                Pantomime rehearsal at St Peter’s
Tuesday 14th December                 10.00am                               No Morning Prayer at St Peter’s (Little Saints using Church)
Wednesday 15th December            9:00am - 12:30am              Danesfield School Christmas services at St Peter’s
Thursday 16th December                10am -12:00pm                  CAMEO at St Peter’s

The St Decuman’s Christmas Tree Festival and Fayre

raised just over £3000 for church funds.  We are very grateful to

all the local groups, schools, charities, etc who contributed

their beautifully decorated trees - over 40 of them.

Most of all a big "Thank You" to Tony and all his helpers for working so hard organising this, managing the stalls, donating items, making cakes, soups and bacon rolls, serving refreshments… all contributing towards making this such a happy community event.


Julie and Donna’s Advent Course,‘Journeying With the Magi', continues on Mondays at 2pm at Holy Cross.

An opportunity to stop at this busy time of year and think and reflect on our own journey towards Christmas.

For more information please talk to Julie or Donna.

 Saturday 11th December                 4.30pm                  Father Christmas leaves St Peter’s and carol singing at Croft House  
                                                                  5.00-8.00pm         Williton Christmas Festival at the Pavilion, including carol singing

 Sunday 12th December                     4.00pm                  Carols around the bonfire at St Peter’s
 Saturday 18th December                  3.00-5.00pm         Campfire Church at St Peter’s
 Sunday 19th December                     4.00pm                  Carols around the bonfire at St Decuman’s
 Friday 24th December                       4.00pm                  Crib service at St Peter’s
                                                                11.30pm                  Midnight Communion in both churches

 Saturday 25th December                10.00am                  Christmas Day Communion at St Peter’s
                                                                10.30am                   Christmas Day Communion at St Decuman’s

Next Sunday 19th December


Watchet Baptist Church

Advent Festival

This Advent on our YouTube Channel

Facebook Page (

& on our new Instagram Page (

there will be a video posted each day as part of our Advent Festival,

for you to enjoy and share around with those who you think it might encourage!

If you haven’t had enough carols after our bonfire services…

Carols & Lights - Sunday 19 December at 6pm
Wrap up warm and join
Watchet Baptist Church (outside at Knights Templar School)

for Carols and Lights, as we re-tell the amazing story of Jesus' birth.

Familiar carols and readings will be followed by hot spiced apple juice and mince pies.

Bring your family, friends & neighbours (they'll love it)
Bring a light (to light up the playground)
Bring your own cup (and we'll fill it up)
Bring a folding chair (if you or a friend will need a seat)

As last year there will also be an online version
(on our Youtube channel)

on Thursday 23 December at 7.30pm

  9.15am    Parish Communion at St Peter’s
10.30am    Parish Communion at St Decuman’s
  4.00pm    Carols around the bonfire at St Peter’s

Christmas Services and Events


Please contact your churchwardens with enquiries about baptisms, weddings, funerals, etc. and any member of the Benefice team is happy to be contacted with general enquiries, requests for prayers, etc. 

Benefice Team:
George Fenech                       Churchwarden St Peter’s                             Tel: 01984-633577                         email:
Sue Withycombe                    Churchwarden St Peter’s                             Tel: 01984-632596                         email:
Sarah Lander                          Churchwarden St Decuman’s                      Tel: 07765-881229                        email:
Janet Bremner                        Churchwarden St Decuman’s                      Tel: 01984-632118                        email:
Bev Machin                             Reader                                                             Tel: 01984-568201                        email:   
Donna Marsden                     Reader                                                             Tel: 01984-633707                 
Julie Pelling                              Reader                                                             Tel: 07973-961083                       email:

Benefice Website       

Facebook Pages             

Our Parish Safeguarding Officers:

We take Safeguarding very seriously in our Benefice and our Safeguarding Officers are

Mrs Sara Hempshall & Mrs Jackie Smith  - who can be contacted by telephone: 07961-268411 & email:


We have passed the half-way stage in the Advent Season, during which we hope, pray and prepare for the coming of God’s Kingdom.  From now on our attention is increasingly focused on Jesus Christ whose birth at Bethlehem was the sign that God’s rule was near. Today we remember John the Baptist who was sent to prepare the way for Christ, by ‘turning the hearts of the disobedient’.

Housegroup & Bible Study
We have, reluctantly, made the decision to pause Hoousegroup Meetings until the New Year

Beautiful rainbow over Caen


The Collect
O Lord Jesus Christ, who at your first coming
sent your messenger to prepare your way before you:
grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries
may likewise so prepare and make ready your way by
turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
that at your second coming to judge the world
we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;
for you are alive and reign with the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.   Amen


We are holding in our thoughts and prayers: those who are unwell at home or in hospital.  If you would like to be included on the prayer list, please let Sarah or Sue (or another member of the Benefice  team) know.

CAMEO   (Come and Meet Each Other)
CAMEO is on Thursdays, in St Peter’s Church 10am – 12pm.  Everyone in the benefice is welcome to drop in for coffee and chat.

Please speak to George or Sue if you have any questions.

Prayers for the Benefice

Each week we will be joining our Baptist friends in praying for a local road or street.  This week it is Culvercliffe Road in Watchet and Half Acre Close in Williton.  Pray for God’s blessing on those who live there.

Quantock Deanery Prayer Diary - A prayer focus for every day of the month
Quantock Towers Benefice                                                      Quantock Villages Benefice
12th -  Angela Berners-Wilson (Rector)                                     16th – The people and parishes of Aisholt, Enmore, Goathurst, Nether Stowey, Over Stowey,
13th - Bridget Capewell, John Crothers,                                                Spaxton with Charlynch; New Toddler Groups
           David Gover, Gill Southwood (Readers)                                     
14th - +Nigel Stock (retired clergy)
15th - The staff and students of Crowcombe C of E               17th -  Eleanor King (Rector), Kate Sax (Associate Priest),
            Primary School, Stogumber C of E Primary School                 Nicki Bradford (Curate)
                                                                                                         18th -  Jeanette Bole, Viv Chesterton, Maggie Harrison,
                                                                                                                     Alison Hoare, Sarah Upfield (Readers)

Light Up A Life
Many of us have  lost friends or family members over the last couple of years. 
St Margaret's Hospice Light Up A Life Service is a  wonderful opportunity to reflect and to  remember.
This year there is a special online service on

Sunday 12th December broadcast from the Bishops Palace in Wells with an address by our Bishop Ruth.

To join the service go to:     for YouTube

Or, go to St Margaret's Facebook page:  

A Christmas Message from Bishop Ruth

At The Heart of Christmas

What is at the heart of Christmas for you?  Is it the feasting and festivities?  The carols and the candles?  The stockings and the gifts?  Or the presence of those you love?

This Christmas we may find ourselves investing more in our preparations, as last year Christmas plans were curtailed and for some even cancelled.  A year ago we were to have had all our family gather for Christmas at our house and then just before, my husband Howard had a positive Covid test.  Everything changed and in fact neither of us felt well enough to enjoy a special meal together let alone welcome others.  So, this year I want to pull out all the stops!

The children and grandchildren will be with us and Howard tells me that Father Christmas will be paying a special visit!  However, we are also wanting to make sure that we don’t get carried away with all the tinsel and trappings and forget the heart of the story.  So, we shall limit our spending on pressies but make sure that we really value the presence of one another and particularly of the Christ child at the heart of it all.

This year as you anticipate Christmas, through the stories told through Advent windows, or carol services in your church, or Nativities on the move, how might you prepare your heart for the coming Christ child?  The wonder of Christmas is that God has never given up on us and in fact loves us so much that he wants to spend time with us. The birth of Jesus, God’s Son, into a humble human family, brought God into our very midst, into the heart of our homes. This Christmas let’s make space for Him once more and listen to the words of love, hope and joy He wants to share with us. And may that inspire our faith in the future, for ourselves and our world.

Wishing you much joy and peace this Christmas!                                                

Bishop Ruth