Dulverton is a small town and civil parish in the heart of West Somerset, England, near the border with Devon. The town has a population of 1,408. The parish includes the hamlets of Battleton and Ashwick which is located approximately 3.5 miles (5.6 km) north west of Dulverton. To the west of the hamlet lies Ashwick House, built in the Edwardian style in 1901. Also nearby is the estate of Northmoor, formerly a seat of Sir Frederick Wills,1st Baronet of Northmoor, one of the four Wills Baronetcys, and the founders of the Imperial Tobacco Company. In 1929 Sir Frederick’s son & heir, Sir Gilbert Wills, 2nd Baronet , was raised to the peerage as Baron Dulverton, whose principle seat was at Batsford Park, near Batsford, Gloucestershire.
Dulverton Pastoral Council
Canon 511 (and later 536) of Code of Canon Law states the establishment of a Parish Council is for the fostering of pastoral activity in the parish. The basic task of such a council is to serve, at institutional level, the orderly collaboration of the faithful in the development of pastoral activity which is proper to priests. The pastoral council is thus a consultative organ in which the faithful, expressing their baptismal responsibility, can assist the parish priest, who presides at the council, by offering their advice on pastoral matters.
The Pastoral Councils meet twice a year or more often if required.
Members of the Parish Council for St. Stanislaus at Dulverton are:
April Golding – Chair
Martin McNeill – Secretary
Frank O’Neill – Treasurer
Fr. Michael Thomas
Deacon Vincent Woods
Dulverton Safeguarding Representatives:
Carol Rous Tel:01398 323509
Tim Todd Tel:01398 341114
A short history of the Catholic Church Dulverton
During World War II the Hon. Mrs. Aubery Herbert of Pixton Park established a chapel in a building that had been the laundry. It was served by visiting priests until 1944 when a full-time priest was appointed.
Mrs. Herbert persuaded her friend, the architect Prof. Albert Richardson, to adapt a disused stable off the high Street that had come onto the market. Much of the wood for the new building was locally sourced and prepared in the Pixton estate sawmill by Fr. Whelan assisted by volunteers from the parish. The church was opened in 1955.
The dedication of the church to St. Stanislaus is credited to Auberon Herbert, Mrs. Herbert’s son, who fought with the Polish forces during WWII and is thought to be unique among English parish churches. St. Stanislaus was a Pole of noble birth who was ordained after education at Gnesen. Later, he was given a cononry by the Bishop of Cracow, who made him his preacher. He became much sought after as a spiritual advisor and was made a bishop in 1072. However, he incurred the wrath of King Boleslaus the Bold when he denounced him for excessive cruelty and for kidnapping a nobleman’s beautiful wife.
Subsequently, the king personally murdered him while he was saying Mass. He has long been the symbol of Polish nationhood. (His feast day is 11th April)
The statue of St Stanislaus, on the left of the altar, is possibly 16th Century Hungarian.