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The Somerset Guardian, 21st February 2024

One of the real privileges of being a Member of Parliament is that you get invited to activities that are going on locally.

Recently, I was particularly pleased to be invited to St. Barnabas Church in Temple Cloud, which was celebrating its hundredth anniversary. The interest that I have in the church is, in part because it is a wonderful building with people working so hard to keep it going, especially in the face of difficulties like its car park being removed owing to the sale of the vicarage.  However, it is also because of a family association that I knew too little about.

Interestingly, my father’s great-aunts gave considerable help to the church when it was being built and Miss Elizabeth Rees-Mogg actually laid one of the foundation stones.

One of the other things that I was so touched to see was the reredos, which is a memorial to Henry Savory who was a first cousin of my grandfather therefore, my first cousin twice removed, who died towards the end of the First World War.

It is such a poignant reminder in almost every church in the country of how much people sacrificed to make our country the great and free nation that it is. We should never forget that, not only on 11th November but also when we go into local churches such as St. Barnabas. Aside from a Rees-Mogg family connexion, it is an important church and indeed, a longstanding part of the community with many of its residents past and present worshipping there and one that I hope will be preserved for many years to come.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance:

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