Holy Trinity Church, Chilton Trinity
There have been markedly differing opinions as to the dating and importance of the church building. Pevsner in his book ‘Buildings of England’ (1958) described the church as ‘of no significant interest’. Mee in ‘The King’s England’ (1940) says ‘It is a bare little church we come to in this bleak land’. However, in the Victoria County History, Robert Dunning says the lost church of Pignes was incorporated in the 15th century building.
The original church buildings are thought to date from at least the late 11th century as they are mentioned in the Domesday book. The foundations of this ancient church were then built upon in later years.
The main part of the building, or nave, and most of the chancel date from the 12th century, the tower in the 14th / 15th century. Outside there is what is believed to be the base of a 13th century church cross.The east wall of the chancel appears to have been extended by about 1.6 m. in 16th century.
The church interior is very plain and was refurbished in the 19th century. It does however contain a font from 15th century and a pulpit from 17th century.
The five bells in the tower include two that were made before the Reformation. As bells were rung to celebrate great national events these bells may have been rung to celebrate the defeat of the Spanish Armada.
The church silver, which is held for security at St Mary’s Church, Bridgwater includes a chalice and cover from 1574.
The earliest recorded vicar was Richard de St Clare who was appointed to the benefice in 1309. The church was united with St Mary’s in 1749. In 1984 a united benefice was formed with St Mary’s Bridgwater, Chilton Trinity and Durleigh. In 2006 Durleigh became included in a benefice with Holy Trinity in Bridgwater.
The ‘school room’ is a small building to the east of the church. It is understood that Joseph Richard Smith, Mayor of Bridgwater, paid for its building and it was to be used as a vestry and Sunday school room.
Services are regularly held today with a small congregation. However for special services such as Trinity Sunday, Harvest Festival and Christmas Carols a larger number attend. Baptisms, weddings and funerals are an important service for people involved with the village.
Our new Vicar, the Reverend Trish Ollive (tel 323302), who also officiates at St Mary’s Bridgwater, is keen to connect with people who live and work in the parish. This is Trish with her husband and grandson at a Village Coffee morning.
The Church is open every day for private prayer or quiet thought.