Posted January 27th, 2012
by Richard Savage
Have you ever wondered, like me, about that piece of land near the junction of Taunton Roadand Broadway, adorned with some large trees and a few old gravestones?
Tombstones in the former graveyard of Holy Trinity, Bridgwater
I was interested to find out through the web page of the Bridgwater Civic Society that it was the site of Holy Trinity Church, built around 1839 to accommodate those who could not find enough room in St. Mary’s Church. There were only seats for 200 people, and the population of Bridgwater was then estimated at 2,000 families.
In 1856 Holy Trinity Church became a separate parish, but for some reason the congregation dwindled in the 1870s to about a dozen and the building felt into disrepair. In 1874 the new vicar, George Trevor, reversed this, the building was restored with room for 850 souls, and a vicarage was built next door, now the offices for Pollards Building Contractors.
The church itself was closed in 1958 and then demolished to make room for the new Broadway bypass. It was replaced by a new Holy Trinity Church in Hamp Street, built in 1961. This developed from the Church of the Good Shepherd, started in 1953 from a large house in Hamp, close to the Rhode Lane Estate.
What stories these tombstones could tell. One is “in memory of Mary Ann wife of William Hampson who departed this October 24th 1849 aged 40 years. Also Mary Ann daughter of the above died February 15th 1850 aged 8 months. The lord giveth and the lord hath taketh.” What could have caused the death of this baby at 8 mths of age, and the death of her mother when she was 4 months old? Cholera struck Bridgwater in 1849, when some 200 people died. Could that epidemic have claimed mother and daughter?
If it was the poor husband who buried them both, we can only hope he found real comfort from those words of Job: “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Another tombstone is inscribed “Sacred to the memory of Richard Luxon, Who died November 1859 aged 72 years. Blessed are the dead who die in the lord.” Yes, indeed, blessed are those who die in the Lord (Revelation 14: 13). The verse continues “that they may rest from their labours, and their works follow them.” Little child are completely innocent when it concerns evil, even though they have inherited a human nature with all its selfish, sinful tendencies. Jesus Himself said “Of such is the kingdom of heaven” and welcomes them to His heart (Matthew 19:13-14). As we grow up we realize we have all been affected by the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but blessed are those who choose the good and reject the evil when they face those decisions in life. Jesus Himself had to make those decisions (Isaiah 7: 15), whenever He was tempted, and was willing to obey God and die rather than do His own will and commit sin.
Blessed are all those who have the same mind, who labour and fight against the evil in their nature rather than give in, and by “patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honour and immortality.” (Romans 2: 7). They have an eternal reward, a glorious future and hope. No one who trusts in God and does good will be disappointed.
- Lower Lakes - Straight Drove- Chilton Trinity TA5 2BQ - Somerset - England- Telephone: 01278 - 433066- Mobile: 0752 666 84 92 - Email: click here