Williton’s new vicarage, which will serve the Benefice of Williton and Watchet is to be officially blessed by the Bishop of Taunton on Saturday 30th September with parish members in attendance.

The project has been overseen from inception through to completion by Nick Ratcliff RIBA, architect with Greenslade Taylor Hunt’s Land & Planning Division for the Bath and Wells Diocese.

Detailed discussions with the local planning authority have resulted in a rectory that has been designed to blend in with neighbouring buildings. Natural stone sourced from a nearby quarry and rendered  elevations have helped to achieve this.

The incumbent Rev Clive Gilbert is delighted with his new home, which replaces an unsuitable and dated house. A better layout for visitors to the house for pastoral meetings and a much higher energy rating and low maintenance costs are aims of the modern day church and these have been achieved.

The Diocesan surveyor Paul Toseland is full of praise for the good design and the high quality build.

He said: “It is a property which enhances the approach to the village. The present incumbent Clive Gilbert has been in residence since  2011 in a cramped house with poor study facilities and has had to hold many parish meetings in his sitting room due to lack of facilities. This should make his life and his successors much easier and shows a long term commitment by the Diocese to provide ministry to people of this recently formed Benefice.”

As part of the project the parish hall and ATC hut were demolished and a space for larger group gatherings has been provided alongside the house for the incumbent to have an efficient local ministry and also to  be able to meet colleagues from the Benefice and Deanery. Overall the project has been better than cost neutral with extra funding raised  helping to keep down parish share increases.

There will also be a small ceremony with the Archdeacon of Taunton for those involved in the project at 2pm on Monday, September 25th.