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About Wiveliscombe

Wiveliscombe – or “Wivey”, as it is known locally – is a former market-town of some 3,000

people in West Somerset, nestling on the edge of Exmoor and the Brendon Hills, 10 miles

west of Taunton, and just 4 miles from the Devon border.


Wiveliscombe has a long and distinguished history – the Romans settled here, and there

are several heritage sites; the Vikings marched on Wiveliscombe in 997 and occupied the

old Roman camp for a time; the Bishop of Bath and Wells built a palace here in 1265, parts

of which still remain today. Prior to the industrial revolution, Wiveliscombe was a wool

town, and in 1807 began its long association with commercial brewing. 


Today, Wiveliscombe is served by a GP surgery (Lister House), a Primary School, pharmacy, cafes, pubs, three other churches, a range of local shops and many community activities. Kingsmead School for 11-16 year-olds has one of the largest catchment areas in the country. 

Spiritually, Wiveliscombe saw revival in the 1860s (as the “Great Revival” of 1859 spread from major cities out into the countryside towns and villages).

Rev. Joseph Smale, who was a key influence in the Azusa Street revival of 1906 in Los Angeles, grew up in Wiveliscombe and was converted in 1881 (when he was 14 years old) at the former Wesleyan Chapel in South Street.

There was also a revival of spiritual life in the 1950s and 60s through the Wiveliscombe Christian Fellowship, which had come into being after Billy Graham’s 1954 London Crusade. Up to 1,000 folk from miles around would crowd into the Kingsmead School Hall to her the great preachers of the day, such as Martyn Lloyd-Jones, L.F.E.Wilkinson, General Sir Arthur Smith, David Pawson, Leith Samuel, Alan Redpath and others.

We now live in very different days, but there is just as much, if not more, need in 21st-century rural Britain as there was in past centuries. Debt, broken homes, climate change, housing needs, discrimination, mental health issues, loneliness, and addiction are some of the problems of modern society. 

We believe that the answer is not religion, but a personal relationship with God, and that this can only be found through Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus is the answer to every need, and that is why we want to convey this good news throughout our community.

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