HISTORY OF THE CHURCH
In 1569, the number of people who lived in the Trinity area was around 40. In 1831, with the development of the railway network, this figure reached over 2000. And so in 1839, the Bishop of Bath and Wells agreed to establishment of the parish of Holy Trinity, and on the 18th June, 1842, the new parish church, costing £5,000 was consecrated and declared formally open.
The church itself stands out from the buildings surrounding it, and indeed Taunton itself. Clad in white lias stone, it has a tower nearly 90’ tall, and is a large airy but compact building, which originally seated over 1000 people. It is very plain, almost austere to look at, but many people going in for the first time comment on its beauty, its peace and its prayerfulness. The tower contains a ring of six bells which today ring out as a witness to the Christian faith witnessed to for so many years in this place.
Holy Trinity has never been a wealthy parish, having been established for the poor of the town; the old workhouse near the church has recently been converted into mews housing. Being in a poor area, and not having more than a few wealthy patrons, the buildings and contents are simple but of good quality; the love and affection in which Holy Trinity has been held for over 160 years is very apparent.
Not one generation of worshippers have left the buildings unaltered. By the turn of the 20th century, the interior began to reflect the Tractarian tradition expressed in worship, and a new vestry was built on the south side. Pews, even by then, had been removed and replaced, and a newly designed chancel, pulpit and font provided. After the 1st World War, the Lady Chapel was created as a memorial, and a fine carved oak reredos installed behind the High Altar. Vestments were worn, candles abounded, the Holy Communion was perpetually reserved for the sick and for devotions, incense was used.
By the end of the 20th century, a further chapel had been created in memory of an incumbent who died in office, a large holy water stoup (the font from the redundant church of Holy Trinity, Bridgwater) installed in the porch, the chapels and High Altar re-ordered so the eucharist was celebrated facing westwards, and the pews removed from under the western gallery, making a marvellous open area for baptisms, pushchairs and wheelchairs as well as for socialising. A hall had been built on the north side. Throughout the century the church and its worship was constantly being enriched by private, memorial gifts.
Today, Holy Trinity is certainly not a museum to the dead faith of the living, but a real witness to the living faith of our Christian forebears who have handed down the tradition and the means to witness to it in this our day and age. At Holy Trinity, people of all ages find healing and reconciliation, are fed with word and sacrament, and equipped to bear the Good News of Christ to those amongst whom they live and work. In Holy Trinity, people can experience true communion and find that peace which the world so wants and comes from Christ alone.
Holy Trinity belongs to the traditional catholic wing of the Church of England, and is affiliated both to The Society under the Patronage of St Wilfred and St Hilda, and Forward in Faith.
In 2023 Holy Trinity became more formally linked to its affinity parish of The Good Shepherd, Furnham, Chard.