A NUMBER of church parishes in and around Wellington could be left without a priest in the autumn when the Rev Martin Beaumont retires for a second time.

Mr Beaumont is currently associate priest with the Wellington and District Team Ministry and looks after Rockwell Green, Thorne St Margaret, Sampford Arundel, Ashbrittle with Greenham, Bathealton, Stawley, and Kittisford.

But he will step down in September after holding the role for two years since the summer of 2021.

Stawley Parish Council chairman Cllr Paul Musgrove said the process of finding a new priest for the parishes had started.

Cllr Musgrove said the process to fill ‘the large gap that will be left in our communities’ would continue with a ‘vision day’ to be held in Appley Pavilion on August 1.

He said the occasion was open to anybody to attend and would start at 9.30 am and finish by 1.30 pm, and would consider what were the unique qualities of the local community and what people wanted from a new priest in charge.

It was hoped that a new priest could be appointed in the spring of 2024.