Church of St Mary The Virgin

Church of St Mary The Virgin

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Powerstock and Nettlecombe

The village of Powerstock has always included separate settlements of which Nettlecombe, which is visible from the village, and West Milton, which isn’t, are the biggest. West Milton, which used to have its own church, retains its churchyard. All three are rural, and old- looking, strung along roads among the small hills and valleys of this area. There
has been very little recent development. Powerstock and Nettlecombe have pubs. Powerstock retains its school from which children go on to the secondaries in Beaminster or Bridport.

There are two or three large farms, several smallholdings and a farmyard which has been converted into workshops largely occupied by craft workers. Otherwise, apart from those who work from home, people commute to work in nearby towns.
A substantial proportion of retired people, many still active, live in all three settlements and the congregation at United Benefice Eucharist reflects this. There aren’t too many second homes.

The church at Powerstock, one of the biggest in the benefice, is a remarkable combination of the Romanesque and the Victorian, set in a lovely churchyard. Congregations at the United Benefice service average between twenty and thirty. There are not quite enough trained bell ringers so support from those of a neighbouring parish to announce services is welcomed.

The clearest impression of the integration of the church in the village can be gained at the Harvest Festival when the service is followed by a communal supper in the village hall (called the Hut). Shared tables, homely food, local drinks, as well as
a good spread of ages and the mixture of church- goers and many others brings the community successfully together. Every other summer the same is achieved by the Fête, which is run by the PCC, but does involve a large proportion of the village, and its profits go partly to local charities.

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