Church News – February 2018

Benefice Coffee Morning

The benefice coffee morning will be held on Thursday February 15th in Offwell Social Club Room at 10.30 am. Everyone is very welcome.
We hold this on every third Thursday of the month.


St. Mary’s, Offwell

Evensong services at 6.00pm on the third Sunday of every month will continue as in the past with the difference that for the foreseeable future they will be led by various members of the congregation rather than by clergy. This is not a new departure – there is absolutely no barrier to this kind of participation in the rules of the Church of England, despite what may have become a convention while clergy time has been available. This is no longer the case, and not just for the duration of our current interregnum. With clergy numbers reducing we shall all have to get used to services being led by lay people – with appropriate support and training – in the future. Many people feel that, far from being a subject for regret, this could be a healthy development. The church is the people (which is what the word laity means) and all have gifts to offer to the community of believers, as well as to the wider community.

Mothering Sunday

In a change to the usual pattern of services, there will be a Family Service for Mothering Sunday on 11th March 2018.

Forthcoming Church Services


Feb 11th                Holy Communion at Cotleigh

Feb 18th                Evensong 6.00pm. Lay led service

Feb 25th                Sunday 4 U 9.30am. Led by Katharine Murray

Mar 4th                  Holy Communion 9.30pm. Led by Bishop Oliver Simon

Mar 11th               Mothering Sunday Service 9.30  An all age service with posies of flowers for the children to                                   give family and friends, led by Katharine Murray

Mar 18th               Evensong 6.00pm. Lay led service

Mar 25th               Sunday 4 U 9.30am. Palm Sunday led by Katharine Murray


St. Cuthbert’s, Widworthy


We all really enjoyed our first Wilmington Wonders session in December. On Saturday 10th February 2018 we will hold another of our children’s activity groups at Wilmington Village Hall between 2.00pm and 4.00pm.

The theme will be Noah’s Ark. All children aged 4-11 are welcome.

If your children would be interested in attending, please contact

Kate Vernon at 2 The Firs (mob) 07928 227224.

Please note dates for future meetings are:

31st March – Easter;  26th May – Trinity;  21st July – Summer Walk

Please see here for more information on Wilmington Wonders:  Wilmington Wonders – Feb 2018

For information on a five week Live Lent study group commencing Wednesday 21st February 2018 please see here: Live Lent flyer


TIME TO SPARE? Many people like to come into St. Mary’s during the day, and keeping it open is important to the community as well as visitors. However, unlocking in the morning and locking up at night has to be done by somebody. At present this is done by a rota of helpers, but more are needed. Would you be willing to hold a key and unlock and lock up on one or two days a week? If you live near the centre of the village, it takes a matter of minutes each day.

More people are also needed for the church flower rota. Even if you can only help one week a year it would be greatly appreciated.

Please contact the Churchwardens if you can help:

David Murray (01404.831549) or Marion Hutchinson (01404.830055)


The following is taken from The Link, February 2018

“Taking a long hard look at ourselves 

New Year is traditionally a time for review and acquiring new aspirations. New Year Resolutions have come in for a bit of flak lately as not good for our mental well-being, re-enforcing a sense of failure because they only get broken!

At our recent PCC we finished up ‘taking a long hard look at ourselves’ for a number of reasons – none of which had anything to do with it being the New Year!

The Archbishops Council reported that 600 rural churches, nationally, may well have to close and Exeter Diocese has been talking of 100 village churches at risk of closure or being turned into ‘Festival Churches’ (whatever they may be). There is clearly a threat to some rural parishes, is it one near you?

There are many in our villages who never attend a service but would be very unhappy to see the church closed. So what sort of questions do we need to ask of ourselves in order to keep the doors open?

* Financial Viability: No parish treasurer is ever happy with the level of income! But can we meet our obligations or are we running out of reserves?

*  Administering the Parish: Have we a full team of officers – Churchwardens etc., necessary to administer the affairs of the parish?

*  Church Buildings: It is perceived by both national and local (Diocesan) authorities that these historic buildings ‘can be one of the greatest challenges that the congregation face’ (*) Is that how you feel?

*  The worshipping community: When completing our Statistics for Mission, it highlighted that nearly 90% of the regular congregation were over 70! What about your church and does it matter?

*  The wider community: Is your church significant to the life of your village and the wider community?

So where did this long hard look take us? Well, we couldn’t necessarily claim to put very big ticks in all the boxes but surprisingly we were encouraged by the exercise and more ready to take on the opportunities before us rather than being overwhelmed by the threats.

Wishing you every encouragement as we face challenging and changing times and to borrow from the writer of Hebrews: ‘Let’s not give up on meeting together… but let us encourage one another’.

Northleigh Churchwardens”

(* Taken from the Diocesan website – )






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