In October 1961 Bishop Joseph Rudderham, Bishop of Clifton, blessed the new church of St Michael’s in South Petherton. The building of the church was the culmination of many years of fund raising under the direction of Mr Harold Strange. This year we celebrate our Golden Jubilee. However, Mass had been celebrated in the district for many years. In the autumn of 1934 a Mass centre was opened in South Petherton in Knapp House, the home of Miss E d’Gana who was an American. Mass was said here once a month. Subsequently Mass was said on alternate Sundays, either in the British Legion Hall which was situated on what is now the St James Street car park, or in the home of Commander Fletcher at Stoke Sub Hamdon.

The site for the new church was made possible by the generosity of Miss d’Gana. She also donated Knapp House to be a home for ‘Gentle Senior Ladies’! It then became St. Elisabeth’s House, owned by a new Order of Nuns, The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Grace and Compassion, founded by Mary Garson, a convert who died in 2007. During this time they had a lovely chapel and a resident retired priest, Fr Walsh.

The internal decoration of St Michael’s deteriorated over the years and in 2001, helped by fundraising, the church was totally redecorated in time for our 40th Anniversary. For many years the need for a hall was keenly felt and a programme of fund raising (the "Brick Fund") was initiated some 30 years ago. However, the money needed would have been more than the potential sum we could possibly raise. The solution was to sell part of the church land that far exceeded our requirements. Diocesan approval for this was granted and after the somewhat protracted but successful sale of the designated area, construction of our new hall commenced in October 2008. In parallel with this the church was completely refurbished. The exterior walls were re-clad over much needed cavity insulation. Gas central heating was installed and the very large and leaky rear window replaced by a wall with exterior facing of Ham Stone.

Resplendent in this wall is the circular stained glass window designed by John Reyntiens . Also on this wall we are very privileged to have a magnificent carving depicting St Michael. This is the work of master carver Jozef Mesar from Slovakia. More recently two carved shelves have been added, again the skilful work of Jozef.


The hall was officially opened and blessed by Bishop Declan on the 6th November 2009. We consider ourselves blessed to have a lovely new hall, and a refurbished church and car park. Unsurprisingly, the hall is fulfilling all our hopes providing a focal point after Mass for refreshments and fellowship. We are very proud of our church, and visitors are always most welcome. Sunday Mass is at 8:30am and parking is easy, should the ‘Yeovil End ‘ of the parish consider making the trek.