THE year 2020 marks 800 years since the first known record of a church in the picturesque Somerset village of Hinton St. George.

The milestone will be celebrated with a programme of events spread across the year and aimed at all communities, interests and ages.

Most of the events will be free but some require tickets in advance.

David Clements, chair of the coordinating committee for the 2020 celebrations said: “We realised a year or two ago that the year 2020 would see the 800th anniversary of the first mention of a church in Hinton St. George and so following on a lot of work undertaken recently to conserve it and make improvements to make it fit for the 21st century, 2020 seemed like an excellent opportunity for a major celebration.”

Hinton St. George is known to have been a settlement since before the Norman Conquest.

As a feudal village well into the 20th century, the Church was an important focus of village activities and largely sustained and supported by the Poulett family.

The first recorded mention of the Church can be found in a Deed of Grant of the income of the church to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London in 1220, although it is possible that a Church may have been on the site for even longer.

Most of the current structure of St George’s Church dates from the 15th century but a small section of the north wall remains from the earlier Saxon or Norman church.

Mr Clements added: “We hope that we have put together a programme of events with something for everyone - lectures, concerts, a Dragon procession to mark St. George’s Day, a Village Pageant, reviving the old tradition of Beating the Bounds of the Parish, an Art Exhibition and lastly a candlelit procession next Christmas to mark the end of the programme.”

There are currently 12 events in all and they are listed at

The started on March 20 with a talk on the Church’s history by local historian Charles Bird.

On June 20, a Grand Pageant will re-enact some of the important events in the life of the village, proceeding through the village and finishing at the Lord Poulett Arms.

The Bishop of Taunton visits the Church on July 19 for a celebratory service in the church to which the whole village will be invited, followed by a lunchtime street party.

There are also a number of concerts planning through the next 12 months.