RESIDENTS of Tatworth gathered to celebrate a significant milestone for the village.

They celebrated the 150th anniversary of it being granted official parish status with a flower festival and exhibition, based on the theme of Birth of the Parish.

Dozens of residents turned out for the celebrations, and people from neighbouring areas such as Chard also attended.

On September 14, 1866, Tatworth officially became an ecclesiastical parish in its own right.

Prior to that date St John the Evangelist Church was attached to the parish of St Mary’s in Chard.

The flower festival and exhibition was a three-day event that concluded with a special farewell service marking the retirement of the Rev Tim Price and his wife Pippa after more than 10 years in the parish and wider two-shires benefice.

Church warden Jan Knott said everyone who attended the event enjoyed it, and she paid tribute to the work of the villagers 150 years ago who secured parish status. She said: “The villagers in 1866 could not have contemplated that 150 years later their descendants would be holding such a wonderful celebration of the years that ensued.

“We certainly celebrated in style, with people from far and wide enjoying the artefacts and flowers that depicted the history of the church and locality since 1866.

“The floral displays, and exhibits which adorned the interior of the church, brought to life the history of Tatworth.

“Upon arrival visitors were welcomed to the parish by a display of farming life, linked to the milk industry and the Chard Junction Railway Station.

“Included in the displays throughout the church were photographs and records from various village organisations and clubs as well as those directly associated with St John’s.”

Rev Ruth Worsely, Bishop of Taunton, officiated a morning service, which was attended by MP Marcus Fysh and the Mayor of Chard Cllr Dave Bulmer, who participated with bible readings.

Additional music was brought to the proceedings by St Mary’s Guitars, Paul and Bella Gregory and the September Singers, followed by a reception and celebration cake.