St Bartholomew's Oake


 First Sunday
 8. 30 am Holy Communion

Third Sunday
10am Communion/lay led morning service

Fourth Sunday
Evensong 6.30pm 







The Rev. Alison Norris
6 Cole Close
Cotford St. Luke

Tel: 01823 431567


Frances Mansfield 01823 461697

Roger Earthrowl 01823 401043




 CHARITIES for 2016 -2019

Open Door

Christian Aid

Christians against Poverty



The church was very well supported for the carol service on 20th December. We hope you enjoyed the celebration of Christmas and the mulled wine and nibbles afterwards.


Thank you to all those who helped with the church and churchyard summer clean on 1st August. More than twenty volunteers worked hard to clean and tidy up and enjoyed tea coffee and home made cakes at the end of the session. A great big THANK YOU to all for a job well done!


Please refer to notices around the village for up to date service details. There is a blackboard outside the village shop which is updated weekly.


Each Wednesday at noon we hold we hold a short prayer session in the church.


is held each Wednesday from 3pm til 4pm in term time at Oake Bradford and Nynehead school.


Open Door

Christian Aid

Christians against Poverty

There are boxes in all the churches for donations for Open Door, a charity supporting the homeless and disadvantaged in Taunton. They would be delighted to receive a variety of goods including baked beans, meat pies, ketchup, brown sauce, salad cream, mayonnaise, coffee, tea, squash, tinned fruit, cereals, sugar, flour, oil, marmalade, cocoa powder and cleaning supplies. Thank you.OPEN DOOR


The huge cedar tree that  stood in the churchyard for 150 years was uprooted and blown down by the high winds on the night of Friday 14th/Saturday 15th February 2014. Luckily nobody was hurt but it is a sad change in the landscape and the end of an era. 

The tree surgeons have now felled the cedar and a splendid rustic bench has been made from some of the wood. You will see it in the church yard and it is a good place to rest a while in beautiful surroundings.

There are plans to sculpt some of the remaining wood and we are liaising with the school so that the children can be involved in this project.


We have a new space in the south aisle at St Bartholomew's. Four pews have been removed, creating a light and flexible area which will be used for quiet prayer, meetings and lay led services.We have twenty smart new chairs for the area and Richard Shirley-Smith has made some church furniture with the oak from the removed pews.


A church has been on the site for at least 700 years, though the base of the font is said to be Saxon and the oldest thing in the church.

The porch through which we enter has been used by worshippers for 500 years, and as we look towards the altar, the oldest parts of the building are the chancel, the north wall of the nave and the base of the tower, all of which have been dated to the 13th century.

The windows, which represent mostly 14th and 15th century work are remarkable in that every one is different. The north window is of particular interest and is said to have been brought to Oake from Taunton Priory after the Priory Church was dissolved in 1535. There it was probably a cloister window but it was installed in Oake the wrong way round, with the outerface of stone and bars on the inside. There is a glazier's inscription in beautiful copper plate half way up on the right hand side.

The oak chair dates from the 16th century and the coffin stool and pulpit 100 years later.

We have a record of baptisms, marriages and funerals going back to 1594.

People often ask why the church is so far from the village. The bulk of the 'new' village was built at the end of the 19th century where there was a rail link and proximity to a road leading to Taunton. The ancient village probably did exist around the church.

One theory is that Oake was affected by the Black Death in the mid 14th century and little remains of that old village. In fact reference to 'Blagroves' linking the Taunton Road directly to the church is almost certainly a reference to BLAck death GRAVES, as found in other parts of the country.

So a great deal of history sits within the church walls, the Saxons, the people at the time of the Domesday book and the Black Death, the people of the Tudor period, not knowing which way the king would want them to worship and the monks of Taunton who knew that part of their monastery had been preserved in a sacred building.

We give thanks for those folk who have sat on these pews, who are named in our records, in the churchyard and on the walls of the church, their lives, their loves, their joys and sorrows, some we may remember, many will remain unknown.