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Taunton Ward 
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 
Deane Gate Avenue Taunton TA1 2UH 
Tel: Bishop David Eastwood 01458 250466 

This is not an official web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 
 
 
The early Church from 1850 
 
Adjacent to Priory Fields in Taunton, lies a peaceful stretch of the River Tone. Many walk their dogs here unaware that this was the scene of a turbulent period in the religious history of Taunton. The infant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (founded 1830) had arrived in Britain in 1837. Reaching the West Country in the 1840s, resulting in the formation of a Branch in Taunton on 3rd September 1854 with eight members. Some of whom were already established in North Newton. Sixty nine were baptised in the first three years, and emigration records show the majority of them emigrated.  
 
William Charles Dunbar was blown up by an explosion on the river steamer 'Saludia' in 1852, losing his wife and children in the process - but returned to Taunton as a missionary, and was the first Branch President. 
 
Princes Street 1855. It was in this little street near the centre of Taunton where the small Branch met in an upstairs room. The ground floor was the tenanted home of Theophilus William Cox (born 1831), a boiler maker and the Branch President at the time. Recently twenty four had been baptised in the river and it is thought this may have been the cause of what followed. In January 1855, the police had to quell a riot here when a mob of 200 gathered to throw stones and broke many windows, resulting in court action and reports in the Somerset Gazette and West of England Adviser. 
 
In June 1855 the Taunton Branch had thirty six members, a number of them serving as Branch President. 
 
1854 William Dunbar aged 29 
1854 Henry Lunt aged 25 
1854 Theophilus Cox aged 24 
1856 Charles Burrell 
1857 S W Lucas 
 
By 1863 the Branch was reported as being in 'a prosperous and pleasing condition'. 
 
Of the ninety four baptised in the first four years, Theophilus Cox (along with 50 Taunton members) emigrated to America from Liverpool on the ship 'Thornton', which sailed 4th May 1856. He joined the James G. Willie handcart Company and commenced upon the great trek West. Sadly he died aged twenty five on 7th November 1856 and 'was carried to Cottonwood Grove, East Canyon and there beried' just two days journey short of the Salt Lake Valley. 
 
After the second World War the Church in Taunton was revived through the service of travelling missionaries until 1961. At this time two missionaries Elder Scott Romney (brother of Mitt Romney) and Elder James Moss took up permanent lodgings in the town. With the help of a few members, they re-established the Church here. 
 
Missionaries have, since 1961 been permanently based in the town. 
 
Missionaries voluntarily serve for two years and rotate through various towns every few months during their service. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Church in Taunton today 
 
In 2014 Taunton Ward was split to form a new branch of the Church to serve the Minehead area. Their meetings are held at Washford from 10am till Noon. 
 
In 2010 the Taunton Ward obtained it's own Chapel to meet and worship at Deane Gate Avenue Taunton TA1 2UH. 
 
However, since 1961 ( prior to having our own Chapel), the Church has met in various rented buildings, including: 
 
Odd Fellows Hall 
Parade Dancing School 
Rowbarton Adult School 
Red Cross Hall 
Holway Community Centre 
Bishop Fox School 
Moose Hall 
Castle School 
Municipal Buildings 
Lyngford Conference Centre 
 
Members serving as Branch President include: 
 
Eric Brooks 
Paul Smith 
Bro Davis 
Brendan Forrest 
Roger Euinton 
Kevin Ainslie 
John Wright 
Graham Lake 
Blake Thompson 
 
Members Serving as Bishop: 
Bishop Bruce Eden 
Bishop Mark Tutton 
Bishop David Eastwood 
 
Members having served as Missionaries include: 
 
Linda White 
Philip Brooks 
Simone Farbus 
Janette Pattenden: Scotland 
Carlton Eden: Alabama 
Bruce Eden: Scotland 
Riche Forrest: Deaf Mission UK 
Robin Eden: Ireland 
James Brooks: Scotland 
Len & Juliet Eden: Manchester 
James Ainslie: Indonesia 
Josh Ainslie: Manchester 
Reiss Flament: Sierra Leonne 
 
 
Members currently serving as Missionaries: 
 
Luke Tutton: Australia 
Jake Ainslie: South Africa 
 
Sunday Meeting Times: 
 
Sacrament Meeting 10 am 
Sunday School 11:20 am 
Priesthood Meeting 12 Noon 
 
The youth (12 to 18 years) also meet at 7:30 pm every Tuesday. 
 
Bishop David Eastwood and the members of the Taunton Ward are happy to invite you to meet with us. 
 
Phone Numbers: 
 
Chapel 01823 444958 
Bishop Eastwood 01458 250466  
Taunton Missionaries 07800 615369 
Bridgwater Missionaries 07800 615271 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Taunton Chapel 

Elder Jake Ainslie 
Elder Reiss Flament 
Joe & Hayley Wedding London Temple 

MISSIONARIES currently serving in Taunton 

Former Missionaries 

I am seeking to compile a history recording the details of all those missionaries who have served in  
Taunton. 
 
Within these pages you can read the Alumni (click on the drop down menu) and remember these young men, women and couples who have taken their turn in teaching the gospel. 
 
We are forever thankful for your efforts. 
 
CALL TO FORMER MISSIONARIES 
 
Please review the details and assist me to rectify any errors. I would be very pleased to hear from you and add your contact details to these pages. I would also like to include past and present photos, testimonies and anecdotes. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Taunton Missionaries Sister Bills & Sister Coltart  
 
Bridgwater Missionaries Elder Louder & Elder Camedeco 
Eventually our Missionaries move to new areas or return to their homes 
Farewell Sister Stewart 
Farewell Sister Diamond & Sister Baabo 
Farewell Sister Orchard 
Farewell Sister Robison 
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