The Benefice

The Benefice of North Bradley, Southwick, Heywood and Steeple Ashton lies within the Deanery of Bradford in the north-west corner of the Diocese of Salisbury to the south and west of Trowbridge, the county town of Wiltshire. The combined population is currently around 6,000 and set to grow with new housing developments on the edge of Trowbridge.

The Benefice was created in 2008 as an amalgamation of two parishes – North Bradley, Southwick and Heywood, and Steeple Ashton – each having within its boundary a small part of Trowbridge.

(Signifying the three churches in our Benefice, “Three-In-One-Benefice” was chosen as the domain name for our web site – but it should be noted that the domain name is not the official title of the Benefice.)

Detail of map of county of Wiltshire, Robert Morden, 1695

The joint patrons of the Benefice are Winchester College and Magdalene College, Cambridge.

The parish church of North Bradley dates back to the 13th century, while the daughter church of St Thomas’, Southwick, was built at the beginning of the 20th century in response to the expanding population to the south and west of Trowbridge. Holy Trinity, the mid 19th century church for the neighbouring parish of Heywood, had its last service in December, 1981, and the following year the parish of Heywood was merged with the parish of North Bradley and Southwick. The congregation from Holy Trinity relocated to Heywood Church Room which itself ceased to be used as a place of worship during 2018. As well as the larger villages, and a small part of Trowbridge, the parish of North Bradley, Southwick and Heywood incorporates smaller communities at Yarnbrook and Hawkeridge.

The parish of St Mary’s, Steeple Ashton, includes a substantial amount of countryside, and has within its boundaries the smaller village of Great Hinton as well as a small part of Trowbridge. Before a pastoral reorganisation took place early this century, the parish was amalgamated with St Leonard’s, Keevil and St George’s, Semington.

The parish of North Bradley, Southwick and Heywood and the parish of Steeple Ashton each has its own parochial church council (PCC) which co-operates with the incumbent (the Vicar) in promoting the mission of the Church in the parish, and is responsible for the financial affairs of the church, and the care and maintenance of the church fabric and its contents, as well as liaising with, and putting into effect, decisions made by the Diocesan and Deanery Synods.