Our Church Community

Thorncombe St Mary’s CE Primary Academy is a Voluntary Controlled Church of England School within the Diocese of Bath and Wells.

We are very fortunate to be well supported by the Diocese, parish team and local congregation. At the heart of Thorncombe village, just a short walk from school, St Mary’s Church extends the spiritual dimension of school life. We actively promote key services and visit the church for events around Harvest, Remembrance, Christmas, Easter and to celebrate our Year 6 leavers.

In 2019 Karen Sancto, from the Diocese of Bath and Wells Education Department, guided us to reshape our unique theologically rooted Christian vision with input from all stakeholders including staff, governors, children and their parents. 

Living, Learning and Growing Together

Through living, learning and growing together, we nurture each individual’s uniqueness and potential so that they may enjoy life in all its fullness (John 10:10).

Reverend Judith Abbott kindly helped us to select three Bible stories to underpin our new vision: Living together - The Lost Sheep; Learning together - Jesus and Zaccheus; and Growing together - Feeding the 5000. Today Steve Gillan supports school leaders in all aspects of our Christian distinctiveness that threads through school life helping to ensure that every unique individual can flourish.

Our local Reverends Philip and Michelle regularly lead worship in school and sometimes invite us to St Mary’s Church to enhance classroom learning. The children benefit from special ‘Journey through Christmas’ experiences, enjoying activities around the Nativity story including song and making Christingles. Likewise a ‘Journey through Easter’ recreates the events of Holy Week from the Last Supper through Good Friday to Easter Sunday, with opportunities to craft palm crosses and write prayers. The Open the Book team lead school worship on Mondays providing opportunities to encounter Jesus and the Christian faith through engaging the children to act out and reflect on the meaning of Bible stories.

A fabric banner created by children in 2004 is displayed in the church. Inspired by ‘The Courtyard of a House in Delft’ by Pieter de Hooch and assisted by a resident artist, each child created a patch depicting the scene’s paving, tiles, brickwork and roses. The tradition of school contributions to church continues today with offerings for the Lord’s Larder at Harvest and crafted or floral decorations for Christmas, Easter and national events. Each year we place class wreaths or ‘eco’ poppies at the war memorial for the Remembrance Sunday Service.