This beautiful building in history
In 1865, Richard Southcombe commissioned the building of a Congregational Church on North Street. With the help of his benefactor, Robert Morley MP and the community as a whole, they raised the necessary funds in equal parts to build the church. The church, designed by Reynolds and built by Bennet of Weymouth, was completed in 1866. Richard later commissioned a manse and a schoolhouse as part of the property. An exquisite French organ was donated by Julia Southcombe and, in celebration of Queen Victoria’s jubilee, the Parish donated a clock. Both organ and clock are still in good working order.
Our Congregational Church was joined with the Presbyterian Church in 1972 by Act of Parliament. In 2016, the Elders decided that they could no longer maintain the United Reform Church and it was closed as a church and ownership passed to the URC Synod in December of that year. The wishes of the Elders that the building be offered to the village as a Community Centre have been respected and supported by Synod and we have been in discussion with them since.
We need £100,000 to buy the property and a further £100,000 for outstanding repairs, making the building fit for use and compliant with Health and Safety regulations and to convert it to a community centre.
This investment by the community will preserve the beautiful building, provide a home for the Hamdon Pre-School Play Group, Stoke sub Hamdon Band and the Charity Shop and provide an exciting and vibrant community arts centre for the local area.
1960 The Manse, School Room and Church buildings, North Street