Our story so far
As Weston-super-Mare started to develop rapidly following the improving road and transport links in the 1980s, a group of mission-minded local Christians including the evangelist Jack Marsden pursued a vision for an Ecumenical church to serve the new estates of Locking Castle and Weston Village.
In 1992 with encouragement from the Anglican, Baptist, Methodist and URC churches a new Christian Community was formed, meeting at first in homes and then from 1995 moving into a Portakabin at the top of the estate. This became known as the ‘Locking Castle Church and Community Centre’. Then in January 1998 ‘Locking Castle Christian Partnership’ was formally established under the umbrella of Somerset Churches Together. It was led initially by Methodist Deaconess Harriet Bacon and then she was joined in 1998 by the first full-time Anglican Minister, Revd John Bolton.
When Harriet Bacon moved to a new post, a ministerial team was developed, drawing on Free Church ministers already in the area. Revd Brian Lawrence, a non-stipendiary Baptist minister, who was already a member of the congregation, joined the ministerial team until his retirement in February 2009. Revd Robert Channon (Methodist) also joined the team along with Revd Brian Townsend (United Reformed Church). Revd John Bolton retired in August 2006, as did Revd Brian Townsend at that time. In September 2007, with the assistance of URC funding, Revd Mark Elvin took up his post as the lead Minister within the ministry team. Mark moved to Norfolk in 2012, and Robert Channon was lead minister until August 2013.
In September 2013 Revd Tom Yacomeni was licensed as Pioneer minister in the Locking Deanery and Lead minister of Locking Castle Church, with a mandate to grow the congregation and plant onto the new estates being built on the old RAF site and airfield near Locking village. Since then the Church has grown and planted several new congregations, including churches at Haywood Village and West Wick, and a midweek congregation for seniors called Oasis. It was formally established as a charity in 2016 and the staff team has grown to 7 full and part time posts including Teresa Britton our hall bookings manager, Cathy Bond, Children and Families Pastor, Emily Cumberbatch, Pastoral assistant, Katherine Hollis, Administrator and Debbie Van der Watt, Occasions officer.
In July 2019 Revd Andy Pearce completed his Baptist ministerial training and became full time Associate Pastor overseeing Youth ministry and also the Church plant at St Anne’s West Wick.
As well as sending Jeremy Putnam and Caroline Deakin for ordination training, Fiona Mayne moved into Haywood Village to work as Community Pastor and was accepted for ordained Pioneer Minister training in 2018. Jacqui Keir-Bucknall has also started training to become a self-supporting minister at Sarum College in 2019.