St Michael's regularly helps and benefits from students taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
for more information, contact the Churchwardens.
Tommy Sumpter is currently engaged in several aspects of his D of E award and has written the following report:
My Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme Experience with St.Michael’s Church, Compton Martin
For the past year I have been helping the Church wardens of St. Michael’s church in Compton Martin with their on-going maintenance programme. I have chosen St. Michael’s for the ‘Voluntary’ section of my Duke of Edinburgh Silver and Gold award. Church maintenance has been the ideal job for this section of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme as, not only does it benefit the church, but I have also learnt various new skills, for example, how to linseed and turpentine a door, tending to drains and making sure they function perfectly, digging up turf and pruning Yew trees, to name but a few!
Not only have my DIY capabilities augmented hugely but also my understanding of how much work actually goes on behind the scenes in order to keep the church at its absolute finest. I have found that working with the maintenance team at the church has been enlightening in many aspects and that helping with the upkeep of the church has had many rewards. These rewards have been mostly my own personal satisfaction but I also feel as if I am a part of our local community which is a warming thought and feeling. It has also helped my social skills and has given me the opportunity to socialise with people who I often wouldn’t be able to speak to, or I don’t often see.
Not only is St. Michael’s church the basis of the voluntary section for my Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, the church is also the place where I am currently partaking the ‘Skills’ section of the award via bell ringing. Ringing at Compton Martin has not only taught me a valuable life skill but, more importantly, will in future give me the chance to travel to other ringing towers to meet new people and ring various sets of different bells. Under the watchful eye of Ringing Master Richard Curry I have found that I have improved very quickly and I can now participate in several different ringing patterns and keep up to pace with the other ringers. Due to this I have rung the bells to call the villagers to church on a Sunday morning on several occasions and I have also been asked to ring the bells as the bride and groom leave the church after wedding ceremonies.
Through bell ringing at St. Michael’s I have become a member of the Bath and Wells Diocesan Association of Change Ringers. This is an official group of ringers and has made me realise that I wish to continue ringing after my Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme has been completed. It has and will continue to be a pleasure to ring alongside those who participate in the church tower as not only is there always a great ambience but everybody is so amicable and willing to learn new patterns and pieces to improve their ringing capabilities.
I would actively encourage any young person to partake in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme as it is worthwhile, challenging, rewarding and, most importantly, fun. Should you be struggling to make the decision of what you are going to do for each section of your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, please consider your local parish church as they are very welcoming and always willing to take on a volunteer.