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D-Day 80 – Ringing Out for Peace


On Thursday, June 6 the nation will come together to remember the tens of thousands of allied forces who gave service on D-DAY eighty years ago and helped secure the peace we in the UK enjoy today.

From early morning when the sun rises to evening as night descends, church bells will ring out, special flags will be flown, schoolchildren will learn stories about their great grandparents, town criers will proclaim the victory, the haunting sound of bagpipes will fill the air and, in a final gesture of homage, beacons and Lamp Lights of Peace will be lit to signify the light that emerged from the dreadful darkness of war.

St James’ Bellringers will be joining hundreds of others wanting to remember the brave men and women who took part, not only from our country, but from America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Norway, Greece, France, Czechoslovakia, Rhodesia, and Poland too.

They will be ringing from 12-12.50pm as part of the commemoration.

Bruno Peek CVO OBE OPR Pageantmaster of D-Day80, and of the 80-day countdown to June 6, 2024, says; “In 1944 Allied forces mounted the largest amphibious invasion the world has ever witnessed. Operation Overlord, D-Day, saw over 5,000 ships and landing craft set down more than 150,000 troops on the five Normandy beaches that would bring about the liberation of north-west Europe from Nazi occupation.

“In order to commemorate the peace and freedom given to us through the bravery and ultimate sacrifice of so many thousands involved in the D-Day landings, and throughout the whole of WW11,  over one thousand beacons and hundreds of Lamp Lights of Peace will be lit across the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories  – and in a very poignant and unique gesture, a special Lamp Lights of Peace lamps will be lit on each of the five beaches in Normandy, at 9.15pm local time that night, to coincide with the lighting of beacons at that time too.

“However, at 9.10pm, as night descends – and just before the beacons ignite – the resonant sound of bagpipes will be heard across the capital cities of London, Edinburgh, Belfast, and Cardiff. We will also have a presence in other major cities of the Allied nations that took part. From Washington DC to the distant shores of New Zealand’s Auckland, from Ottawa to Paris, and from Canberra to Brussels, Athens and Amsterdam, Oslo, Warsaw, and Prague.

“The light from the flames from the lamps and the beacons will represent the ‘light of peace’ that emerged from the darkness of war, with the lamp providing a very simple, safe, unique and cost-effective way of taking part in this important 80th anniversary occasion, especially as once used, can be lit again at 11am on every Remembrance Sunday thereafter, in tribute to the many millions that sacrificed their lives during WWII.”

Flower Festival

Our annual Flower Festival will be held this year on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th July. For a taster, here are some photos from previous years.

Mar Thoma Church

On Saturday 18th May, we welcomed a new church community to our building. Mar Thoma Church will be worshipping at St James’ once every alternate month. Here are a few photos from their first service here:


The Mar Thoma (St Thomas) Church is a Christian denomination from Kerala in South India. It is a protestant church which preserves the worship style and practices of the West Syriac Divine Liturgy of Saint James, translated into Malayalam, the language of Kerala. Tracing its roots to the mission of the Apostle Thomas to India in the first century, Mar Thoma Christians describe their church as ‘apostolic in origin, universal in nature, biblical in faith, evangelical in principle, ecumenical in outlook, oriental in worship, democratic in function, and episcopal in character’ and the denomination is in full communion with the Anglican Church. According to their website, Mar Thoma Church has seventeen parishes in the British Isles which serve the Mar Thoma communities who live here. The vicar of their Bristol parish is Father Sanoj Babu Mathew who presided at their inaugural Eucharist here at St James’ Yeovil on 18th May 2024. The Bristol congregation acquired their own building in 2016 and the Taunton and Yeovil communities also have services at St John the Evangelist, Taunton, and most recently here at St James’ in Yeovil. We and they are delighted to have this new connection between our communities.