St Dubricius Anglican Church
Rev Bill Lemmey
St Dubricius Anglican Church,
Phone: 01643 863135
The Benefice of Porlock and Porlock Weir with Stoke Pero, Selworthy and Luccombe in the Deanery of Exmoor, comprises five churches - St. Dubricius, Porlock; St. Nicholas, Porlock Weir; Stoke Pero; All Saints, Selworthy; St. Mary the Virgin, Luccombe and two chapels - Lynch and Tivington. Of the five churches, St. Dubricius is the oldest being of medieval origin and is situated in the very centre of Porlock village.
St. Dubricius, or Dyfrig to give him his Welsh name, reminds us that Christianity came to this part of the country through missions sent from the flourishing Celtic church of Wales. The first church of Porlock was possibly founded by St. Dubricius himself or by someone close to him. He died about A.D. 545 (some records say 612) on the island of Bardsey, and in 1120 his remains were moved to the Cathedral of Llandaff of which he was the first Bishop.
St. Dubricius, Parish of Porlock, St. Nicholas with Stoke Pero, Church Services
Holy Communion (B.C.P)
Evensong (occasional so please check notice board)
Holy Communion (every 2nd and 4th Sunday in Month)
Evensong (3rd Sunday in month)
It is by no means unlikely that the building of Porlock’s first permanent church began about this time, but whether this is true or not there is no doubt that much of the present building dates from 13th century (1200-1300) and to the Early English period of architecture which lasted about a hundred years from circa 1180 to 1280. Reconstruction took place in the 15th century (1400-1500), and a great deal of restoration work was carried out between the years of 1888 and 1891 during the incumbency (1872 - 1899) of the Prebendary Walter Hook.
The church now consists of a chancel and nave without structural division except for a variation in roof structure, which is mainly Wagon vaulting. The south aisle, which is the Lady Chapel, does not extend for the full length of the church. There is a north porch with an upper storey which started out in the 15th century as a store for the vestments of the chantry priests. It is now the chapel of the High Cross. The organ chamber on the north side was built in 1890. The west tower is crowned by a truncated spire clad in oak shingles. The truncated spire, a unique feature of St. Dubricius church, rises from a simple, but massive tower and the foundations possibly survive from an earlier church which existed before the reconstruction carried out in the 13th century. The church possesses a very ancient clock which stands at the west end of the nave; it probably dates from around 1450, though this is not certain
Under the most easterly arch is an alabaster monument of John, 4th Lord Harington, who died in 1418, and his wife Elizabeth, it is one of the finest of its period in England. Lord Harington left instructions in his will for a Harington Chantry to be set up, and he directed that two priests be appointed. There is also a 13th century effigy in chain armour which lies in a low-arched recess in the south wall, and is thought to represent Sir Simon Fitz-Roges whose family held the Manor of Porlock during that century. Because the figure has crossed feet, it is commonly described as the "Crusader Knight."
St. Dubricius had, at one time, an oak screen with Rood-Loft. It was erected right across the church from north to south separating the chancel and the east end of the Lady Chapel from the main body of the church. This richly carved and decorated screen was taken down in 1769 by James Tayler who was paid 1/- (5p) to buy ale. Part of the staircase that led to the Rood-Loft can be seen in the north wall
There are two Altar Tombs, one in the Sanctuary (known as the Easter Tomb) and the other in the porch. The oldest object in the church is the fragment of a pre-Norman (before 1066) cross and it is set in the west wall of the south aisle.
The first recorded mention of a Rector of the Parish of Porlock was John, son of Rogo 1297. The present Rector of Porlock is to be appointed.
From 1st February 2007 the Rector of Porlock is also the Priest-in-Charge of All Saints, Selworthy, The Blessed Virgin Mary, Luccombe and the chapels of Lynch and Tivington.