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TOTNES MISSION COMMUNITY Appointment of Team Rector January 2020 AN INTRODUCTION TO The Benefice of Totnes with Bridgetown, Ashprington, Berry Pomeroy Brooking, Cornworthy Dartington, Marldon and Stoke Gabriel.

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    Appointment of Team Rector

    January 2020


    The Benefice of Totnes with

    Bridgetown, Ashprington, Berry Pomeroy Brooking, Cornworthy

    Dartington, Marldon and Stoke Gabriel.

  • A note from the Archdeacon

    Every place is special in its own way, but the ancient market town of Totnes and the

    beautiful South Hams of Devon in which it is set are exceptional. Both the town

    itself, with its distinguished history and considerable present interest, and the rural

    communities surrounding it offer an unusually rich and varied cultural life, from the

    firmly traditional to the decidedly unconventional.

    Totnes has long been a centre for those seeking forms of spirituality and lifestyle

    alternative to the mainstream, at the same time retaining all the inherited elements of

    a fine old West Country market town. With Dartington Hall, Schumacher College,

    the Sharpham Estate, and other local organisations operating in the area of the

    benefice, the range of cultural and educational opportunities on offer locally is high,

    drawing people to Totnes from across the country and beyond.

    The villages are home to a mix of incomers and those with local roots. There are

    areas of great wealth within the benefice, and also areas of severe poverty and social


    In all this, the churches of the benefice demonstrate a clear and increasing

    engagement with their vocation to grow in prayer, make disciples, and serve the

    people of their communities with joy.

    The person called to be the next Team Rector will need to demonstrate the capacity

    to exercise strong, clear, loving leadership in mission and service, working with a

    gifted and motivated team of colleagues to develop and implement the impressive

    action plan to which the churches are committed.

    He or she will be a person whose deeply-rooted Christian faith is confident enough

    to be open to dialogue with people on a wide range of spiritual paths; who has the

    ability to exercise a ministry which is genuinely collaborative; who enjoys working

    across a wide spectrum of liturgical styles and human types; and who remains a

    parish priest at heart.

    Additionally, the new Team Rector will need to be equipped with the skills and

    experience to oversee and inspire a £4 mission fundraising and reordering project at

    the historic priory church.

    I commend to you this significant opportunity for a ministry of leadership and service

    as you think about whether that priest might be you.

    Douglas Dettmer

    Archdeacon of Totnes


    Who are we?

    The Totnes Benefice consists of the parishes

    of Totnes with Bridgetown, Dartington, Berry

    Pomeroy, Ashprington, Cornworthy, Marldon

    and Stoke Gabriel: Seven parishes with two

    town churches and seven rural churches.

    The market town of Totnes and surrounding

    villages offers a vibrant, unique and diverse

    place to minister. Totnes is an historic market

    town situated on the scenic river Dart. Midway

    between Dartmoor and the South Devon

    coast, the South Hams District contains a 337

    square kilometre Area of Outstanding Natural


    As a national centre for alternative

    therapies, Totnes attracts people with an

    interest in a holistic way of life: Sharpham

    House, Bowden House, Schumacher

    College and Dartington Hall fall within the

    parishes and offer opportunities for

    engagement through inter-spirituality and

    eco-spirituality. They have a reputation for

    cutting-edge learning through nature-based

    education, personal transformation and

    collective action and this is reflected in the

    emergence of community hubs like the

    Network of Wellbeing and Caring Town

    Share Shed and Totnes Connection Hub.

    It is a place where, largely due to its

    proximity to Dartington Hall, the arts and

    music flourish whilst many people are

    seeking meaning and spirituality in their


    Totnes has a main line station and is three

    hours away from London by train with easy

    access to the Devon Expressway and M5 by

    road. The cities of Plymouth and Exeter are

    within thirty miles. The area is quite well

    served by buses but the local roads have not

    kept pace with the expanding population and

    are frequently congested, especially in the


    Whilst the South Hams is perceived as

    being a haven for wealthy retirees, the

    housing is mixed, reflecting all strata of

    society and this diversity is reflected in the

    local parishes and schools within the

    team. New housing developments have

    recently been built in Marldon, Stoke

    Gabriel, Totnes and Dartington with plans

    for further development, which offer further

    opportunities for mission in the future.

    View of River Dart showing Ashprington’s Sharpham House with Totnes and Dartmoor in the background


    SPIRITUAL LEADER - a thinker and inspiring teacher who is a good communicator of

    the gospel.

    • to promote spiritual development in the churches of the mission community • to be open-minded and imaginative regarding liturgy • to have vision and an ability to carry people with them while recognising diversity in

    churches and liturgy

    TEAM BUILDER - sensitive to others, inclusive and a good listener

    • to develop a strategic plan to move the MC to the future to deliver on the Mission

    Action Plan • to grow involvement of laity in worship, admin and pastoral work to share the

    heavy load on clergy and readers.

    • to be a bridge builder, nurturing existing relationships while inspiring new ones. • to develop an admin support structure to free clergy to deliver their core roles. • to further develop creative engagement with local communities. • to bring people of differing views together and to step back as necessary to allow

    others to flourish.

    MANAGER OF CHANGE. with energy, tact and enthusiasm and an understanding of

    the needs of both the church and local communities.

    • to grow the mission community and to help it realise its potential for serving the

    people of Devon • to respect the character and tradition of individual churches - liturgy, music, social

    justice, pastoral, youth work ,worship, while encouraging adaptation to current


    • to support the St Mary’s Heritage Trust as they seek to manage the project to save

    a Grade 1 listed building and reorder it to meet the needs of congregation and


    Current priorities in the Mission Community:

    • There are workload issues for clergy which need addressing and an obvious need

    for administrative support - this is currently the topic of on-going discussion.

    • There is a pressing need for an effective strategic plan for taking the Mission

    Community forward to achieve its considerable potential

    • St Mary’s development project is a major partnership with the the town and heritage

    organisations and presents exciting prospects for future growth in the centre of this

    vibrant town.

  • What is on offer?

    A full-time stipendiary post, which offers an exciting opportunity to minister with a team of

    committed people, lay and ordained, in a unique setting with a diverse group of parishes

    offering new opportunities for mission.

    The Team comprises: A Team Vicar, who is also Rural Dean and Diocesan Interfaith Adviser. The Team Vicar lives in Bridgetown.

    A House for Duty Associate Minister and a Reader based at Stoke Gabriel.

    Two other Readers, who minister across the benefice.

    Two priests with PTO, officiating at St John`s, Bridgetown and St Mary`s, Berry Pomeroy

    The benefice is a well-established place for training curates and our current Curate lives in

    Marldon. He finishes his term in July.

    We have a part-time Totnes Team Administrator, who is currently employed for 6 hours

    per week mainly dealing with bookings for St John’s which acts as a community centre.

  • St Mary’s - TOTNES



    Totnes is an historic market town situated on

    the scenic river Dart, midway between

    Dartmoor and the South Devon coast in an

    Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    Bridgetown is situated across the River Dart.

    Our Community

    The town itself is known for its large

    Bohemian population and its environmental track record as England’s first Transition Town. It is a place where, largely due to its proximity to Dartington Hall, the arts and music flourish whilst many people are seeking meaning and spirituality in their lives. The local economy is largely based on tourism and farming. It has two primary schools, a secondary school and an independent school. There is a small community hospital, two care homes and four retirement /sheltered housing centres, with more planned. Totnes still boasts a number of local shops that are not part of any national chain. It is well served by local amenities: A newly refurbished library and two group surgeries, two cinemas, a museum, several art galleries and numerous venues for the performing arts. Totnes also has a large leisure centre, rugby, tennis and bowls clubs, a skate-park and a youth club. We have extremely good ecumenical relationships with all the churches in the town

    Musical Tradition

    The church has a fine musical tradition with

    a paid Director of Music who has brought a

    high standard of music to our Sunday

    Eucharist and Monthly Choral Evensong.

    She has built links with choirs across the

    team and community and is a developing a

    Junior Choir which has brought in new


    The Church attracts orchestras, musicians

    and bands for special events, including

    contemporary. The church conducted the

    following occasional offices over the last

    two years: 3 Baptisms 12 Funerals, 2

    Weddings (averages per year) and has an

    active team of Bell Ringers.

    The Friends of St Mary’s was founded in

    2008. Last year, it raised over £9,000 for

    repairs and improvements to St Mary’s

    church. There is a very successful Tuesday

    morning café during the summer months,

    which greets visitors with tea, coffee and toasted tea cakes and ploughman`s


    The Daily Office is said corporately on

    Monday mornings at St John`s, Bridgetown

    and a Prayer Group meets in St. Mary`s on

    Tuesday and Thursday mornings for 45

    minutes. The Church is open throughout the

    day and is well used for quiet prayer and reflection. The children`s play area and

    Friends of St Mary`s shop is also popular.

    House Groups are well established and

    meet throughout the year with additional

    study groups in Lent. Confirmation, baptism

    and marriage preparation is offered across

    the team.

    Totnes with Bridgetown Parish has up to

    date safeguarding training and an appointed

    Safeguarding Rep. The Quota for 2019 has

    been paid in full.

    St Mary’s choir and junior choir


  • Our History

    The Parish and Priory Church of St Mary’s,

    Totnes: The present building is over 500 years old

    but there was a church and monastery on site 1000

    years ago. It was redeveloped in the 13th and 15th

    centuries to include the exquisitely decorated and

    unique stone rood screen. During the Reformation,

    Henry VIII dissolved the Priory, destroying many of

    the church’s decorative features. The Church

    survived, and various features have been added

    including the beautiful brass candelabra, the tower

    bells and the prestigious Willis Organ. St Mary’s

    Church Hall caters for some local activities including

    Yoga and has a well-equipped kitchen and a piano.

    As the Church sits in the heart of the town, it attracts

    an estimated 50,000 visitors per year. Its seating

    capacity is well over 300. The current challenge is to

    renew this historic building to ensure it is safe, fit for

    purpose and sustainable both as a place of worship

    and for wider community use. To achieve this, St

    Mary’s Totnes Heritage Trust was established and

    registered as a charity in 2019. (Further details about

    the project are attached as an Appendix)

    Our Vision and needs. Totnes Town is a unique

    place to minister because of its rich heritage and the

    opportunities that it offers culturally, socially,

    spiritually and environmentally. As a Civic Church at

    the heart of the market town, the plans to restore and

    reorder the Church offer an important opportunity to

    serve the wider parish in the future, to ensure that

    the Church is a vital, relevant, spiritual hub, offering

    enrichment through its community engagement, arts

    and music programme, social action and ecological

    activism in a sacred setting and sympathetically

    re-ordered church. Who are we looking for? Someone who is a

    creative thinker and a person of prayer, who can

    catch the vision and the possibilities for the next

    season and re-imagine a new way of being Church;

    A bridge-builder who can nurture existing

    relationships and inspire new ones so that we grow in

    spiritual depth and outreach; a person who

    understands the social, cultural and environmental

    needs of our time, works collaboratively, listens

    respectfully and enjoys actively engaging with the


  • Appendix - St Mary’s Church Restoration and Reordering Project

    St. Mary's Church, Totnes, is a Grade 1

    listed building and is in urgent need of

    restoration, refurbishment and reordering

    in order to ensure it is safe, fit for purpose

    and sustainable both as a place of worship

    and for wider community use.

    A scheme has been prepared which has

    been priced in the region of £4 million. The

    PCC has decided to proceed by a phased

    approach and this has taken into account

    the urgency of repairs, the appropriate

    combining of different work items, and the

    rewards that the church will derive from

    achieving each stage.

    The Phase 1 works, costing in the region

    of £1.5 million, include the most urgent

    items of repair, such as the failing floor, as

    well as an expansion of the church’s usage

    by creating a welcoming and thriving

    community facility that provides an

    inspiring, fully useable and fit-for-purpose

    place for worship, music, performing arts

    and arts display serving the community

    and visiting tourists.


    The Projects outcomes include

    Sustaining the church’s place at the

    heart of the community by revitalising

    the building and planning a

    programme of activities used and

    valued by all. Creating heritage experiences and

    interpretation that reveals the

    distinctive stories of the area,

    celebrating its traditions of social and

    cultural dynamism.

    Creating a new high-quality community

    space, with improved facilities and a

    programme of events to attract new

    audiences and income for the


    Repairing and conserving the fabric of

    the listed building and introducing

    sensitive adaptations to make it

    more flexible and accessible to a

    wider range of users

    Raising the profile of the church as one

    of the most important buildings in

    the area and thereby attract and

    welcome new visitors to discover its

    rich heritage and surrounds.

    Details of the project together with the

    PCC’s partnership with the St

    Mary’s Totnes Heritage Trust are at


    Community events like the Sea Change Festival and the

    Party in the Town regularly draw capacity audiences

    The Service of Nine Lessons and Carols at St Mary’s



    The Church of St John the Evangelist, Bridgetown dates from 1832. It was built by the eleventh Duke of Somerset for the tenants of his estate and was a Chapel of Ease to Berry Pomeroy. In the early 1970s, St John’s became part of the Parish of Totnes and in 2004 the name of the parish was changed to ‘Totnes with Bridgetown’. In 1976 the church was gutted by fire and re-opened in 1980 as a multi-use building on three levels, with a flexible worship area on the ground floor and other spaces for community above. In 2018 funding was obtained from Heritage Lottery and other funders for replacement of ten windows which had deteriorated badly since 1980. We also installed a new kitchen and servery, and toilets in the ground floor welcome area. We called our project ‘Windows of Opportunity’ and we are making further plans for the development of our building so that we can serve our community better. At present we are working on a bid to the Reaching Communities programme of the Lottery Community Fund. Our Community: Bridgetown is a distinct community, although only just across the river from Totnes. There is a noticeable diversity, with expensive ‘new builds’ alongside one of the highest levels of social deprivation in the south-west. ‘Friendly’, ‘creative’ and ‘resilient’ are all words which Bridgetown uses to describe itself – the ‘Bridgetown Safari’ ( https://www.trailart.co.uk/malcolm-curley-2019/ ) has been featured on BBC Spotlight and is a ‘must’ for any visitor! But isolation is a problem – both the elderly and single parents – and as a church we seek to build community. We have strong links with St. John’s School and are strengthening our links with the next-door Daisy Family Centre. On Monday the Toddler Group attracts around 50 families, and on Wednesday the St. John’s Community Café brings the whole community together. Community use accounts for at least 85% of the footfall in the building. The St. John’s Community: We are ‘a caring and welcoming Christian community with no strings attached’. Our congregation of 40-45 does not entirely reflect the diversity of Bridgetown community.

    Our age profile is quite high, but we are working on these issues. 9.30 a.m. on a Sunday is not a great time for families and we would like to do something about this. Meanwhile we are looking to re-start Messy Church, which has been taking a break for a couple of years. We also host Sacred Space, which reaches out to those who are looking for a different experience of worship. We know that we don’t always get it right, but we try; and although some of us are quite elderly we are not comatose! Above all, we like each other (most of the time!) and enjoy having fun together.

  • Our Vision and Needs: Our vision is to grow – as Christians, as a church and as a community across the age groups. For this to happen we need our worship to be more diverse and accessible, we need more in the week to nurture us and we need to develop our talents and skills as teachers and pastors. We want to be more a part of the Totnes Team. Most of the time it doesn’t feel like we are a team and imaginative leadership is needed to bring us together. We are aware that our relationship with our sister church of St. Mary’s needs building and we need to heal the divisions of the past in order to move forward. We are a concerned church, and want to be the ‘salt’ in the community of Bridgetown: concerned about the environment/climate change - we have started a group to reflect on this - also exploring issues of social justice as we try to make people’s lives better. We are proud of St. John’s and want to make it available for all. Who are we looking for? Someone with vision who can work collaboratively, build relationships and build us up as a Team, is a listener and able to reflect, an enabler, enjoys a challenge and is willing to take risks, is open-minded and can think outside the box, also willing to step back and allow others to flourish. Needs to have experience of working with church schools (four in Team) and training curates.


    OF THE


    St David’s Ashprington

    St Mary the Virgin Berry, Pomeroy,

    St Peter’s Cornworthy

    St Mary’s Dartington with St Barnabas Brooking

    St John Baptist, Marldon St Mary and St Gabriel Stoke Gabriel

  • St. Mary the Virgin, Berry Pomeroy

    Our Community Geography: Berry Pomeroy is a small pretty hamlet situated between Torbay and the South Hams about a mile East of Totnes. It is an Estate community linked with the Dukes of Somerset for 500 years. Most of the hamlet lies in a conservation area and the beautiful countryside surrounding it is designated an Area of Great Landscape value. The Parish population is divided between the hamlet (with its surrounding rural buildings and farmland) and part of Bridgetown (with town houses adjacent to Totnes).The combined number of electors is approximately 600. Amenities: Berry Pomeroy Primary School has 100 pupils and regularly uses the church for services and drama productions. The Village Hall stands next to the school which uses it during school hours. It is a popular venue for parties etc. A bus service links the village to Totnes and Torbay Monday to Friday. The romantic ruined Berry Pomeroy Castle stands about a mile from the church and is run by English Heritage. A small garden centre, service garage and nursing agency are local commercial enterprises but there is no shop, post office or pub!

    Our Church Building: There is evidence that a church stood on this site in 1125 and was rebuilt in the C15 by Sir Richard Pomeroy. The magnificent rood screen and fine monument in the Seymour Chapel attract visitors. The church is open every day. The Grade 1 listed building has undergone major structural repairs in the last 15 years to the tower and bells. Further repair is planned to the North aisle roof and Parvis room. The closed churchyard surrounds the church. Burials now take place in the Southfields churchyard a short distance away. The church was used in the film Sense and Sensibility staring Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant.

    Our Worship Tradition: Retired vicar, Revd. Pauline Lewis leads the worship assisted by 3 Readers on a rota basis and an organist. The Holy Communion booklet was formatted for ease of use by the congregation and is used for most services. Our Congregation: The electoral roll is 44. The average congregation numbers 20 – 30, mostly pensioners who travel here from outside the parish. 3 regular attendees come from the village. Weekly tower bell ringing practise welcomes ringers from any church. A Torbay team ring for our Sunday service once a month as Berry Pomeroy has not had its own team for many years. Berry Pomeroy Hand bell ringers practise weekly in the church and perform at Christmas etc.

  • Social: An annual summer fete is held in the Manor House garden and is well supported by the local community. Other open events include seasonal coffee mornings and a quiz evening. The “Nones” service in May is followed by afternoon tea and Harvest Festival finishes with a shared lunch. Challenges:

    The upkeep of a medieval building is a financial challenge. “The Friends of Berry Pomeroy Church” plan to help with building projects outlined in the 2019 Quinquennial Report. Ways to encourage more visitors are being investigated with other fund-raising events.

    Berry Pomeroy has been blessed with the leadership of Revd. Pauline Lewis. The challenge will be when Pauline retires! Berry Pomeroy Church is a welcoming, open, supportive community which strives to further develop the Christian faith.

  • St David’s - ASHPRINGTON

    Our Community

    Geography: St David’s Church serves the rural ‘estate’ village of Ashprington, together with the

    hamlet of Tuckenhay and the settlements of Painsford, Yetson, Sharpham Barton and the

    original estate house of Sharpham. It serves an adult population of 400. The village has a public

    house, a modern village hall which is well used by numerous external organisations and local

    clubs including a vibrant WI, a short mat bowling club and art group. The village also benefits

    from a two acre recreation field open to all. Our Worshipping Congregation

    Worship tradition: Most services are Eucharistic. Once a

    month, we are invited to join the parishioners at St Peter’s,

    Cornworthy. St David’s reciprocates on another Sunday. On

    every fourth Sunday, we tend to follow an informal Village

    Worship but other forms of service are introduced from time

    to time. Remembrance Sunday, Christingle, Harvest,

    Christmas and Mothering Sundays attract significantly greater numbers but our current average congregation numbers fourteen. We have a nominated

    Safeguarding Officer.

    The Electoral Roll: is 22.

    Occasional offices: In 2018 there was one baptism, four weddings and two funerals.

    Community links: Three members of the church congregation run a weekly coffee morning in

    the village hall, which can be attended by up to 25 people. Another established a community

    choir which is led by the church organist and typically attracts eighteen villagers. The choir often

    uses the church for its practices and sings at festival services. Another runs a hugely popular

    quiz in the village hall. Another member of the congregation established and runs ‘Open the

    Book’ and ‘Roots and Fruits’ in seven primary schools in the area. Our Buildings

    St David’s Church, as seen today, was originally built in medieval

    times with its fine tower dating back to the end of the thirteenth

    century whilst the red sandstone Norman font probably pre-dates

    the current building. The church is Grade 1 listed. From time to

    time we host concerts for up to 120 adults. Visitors regularly use

    the church, which opens from 10 am to 5.30pm, leaving prayer

    messages and often commenting on its beauty and peacefulness

    and the incredibly fine woodwork which is considered to be some

    of Herbert Read’s best work.

    Our Vision To keep St David's as a vibrant and living Church that shares

    the Gospel of Christ by virtue of its welcome, worship and

    fellowship. We recognise the role of the Totnes Mission

    Community as providing its congregations with a range of skills

    and gifts from both stipendiary and lay people for the greater

    glory of God.

    To offer weekly worship and celebrate the major festivals of the Church. We see St David's as

    being inclusive and receptive to all parishioners and visitors and a great venue for concerts and other secular activities

  • St Peter’s - CORNWORTHY

    Our Community: Cornworthy parish has 350 households, most of

    which are located within the village. The Church and adjacent Village

    Hall, and the Hunter’s Lodge Inn down the hill, form the focal points

    of community life. Community events include periodic Church

    festivals – Christmas, Easter, Harvest Festival and a Flower Festival

    in midsummer. The volunteering ethos is high and this has

    particularly benefited the fabric of the Church, as well as village

    suppers to celebrate Halloween, New Year’s Eve and other events.

    An active group rings 6 bells Thursdays and Sundays.

    Our Church: Since the 12th Century it has stood at the eastern head

    of the Cornworthy valley and is balanced to the west by the remains

    of the Augustinian priory, founded in 1238 and managed by 13 nuns

    until Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536. Notably, the

    Grade I listed Church has a Norman Font dating from 1150-1175, a

    Nave dated to 1350-1375, the Harris Monument of 1611 and Georgian Box Pews from 1788.

    Largely unaltered since then it is a light, quiet and very beautiful place. Over the period 2007-

    2019 community volunteers have raised over £400,000 to restore and repair the building and its

    contents, as well as painting the interior.

    Our Congregation and worshipping tradition: There are 42 on the

    Electoral Roll and the average attendance is 20 but peaking at over 50

    for Christmas and Easter. The Electoral Roll needs editing to match

    reality. Three communions a month, one by a priest, two by extension

    by lay preachers, are supplemented by one village worship by

    volunteers. Reciprocal services with St David’s Ashprington occur twice

    a month. There are popular weekly lunches during Lent and for Harvest Festival. As a spiritual centre it has hosted two secular services in the

    last four years. Christening and Marriages average 2-3 a year and in 2018-19 there were four

    funerals. There is no choir and children’s activities are minimal.

    Challenges: While there is substantial support from the community for

    Church-related events, this is not so for financial contributions to the

    clergy and Common Fund (CF). A reduced presence of the clergy within

    the community, once-a-month appearances of a Priest and active

    management by volunteers underlies this lacuna. It is only in the last four

    years that we have failed to meet our CF quota. Next year the annual CF

    quota will increase to £9,500 and a major fundraising initiative is planned

    for 2020. This is the most significant financial challenge faced by the

    church community.

    Vision: For St Peter’s to remain inclusive of all villagers and visitors who

    need a place for reflective calm, warmth and grace, and spiritual nourishment. To expand St Peter’s as a convening centre for the growth of Christianity and the


  • St Mary’s - DARTINGTON

    St Barnabas - BROOKING

    Parish background

    Geography The parish of Dartington lies to the north-west of the market town of Totnes. The

    population is approximately 1900, though there have been several new housing developments

    recently and more in the pipeline, so the number may be higher. The main area of housing is around the junction of the A384 and A 385, where there is a Post Office store, a garage with

    shops, a small industrial estate and the Shops at Dartington. The award winning Cott Inn is

    nearby. The rest of the parish is mainly farmland with scattered farms and small settlements. Transport links are good to Plymouth, Exeter, Torbay and Newton Abbot.

    Churches: There are 2 churches in the parish. The bellringers meet weekly, offer training to

    new recruits, and ring for many of the weddings which take place at St Mary’s. The church of St Mary, Dartington was relocated from its ancient site at Dartington Hall in the 1880s in order to be nearer the village population. Both buildings are in reasonably good order,

    and routine maintenance is carried out regularly. Both churchyards are open for burials and have

    financial support from the Parish Council.

    St Barnabas, Brooking, also a Victorian

    building, was built as a chapel of ease for

    those who lived on the edges of the parish.

    Worship tradition: varies between the two churches. St Barnabas

    follows a traditional pattern based on the Book of Common Prayer.

    St Mary’s has more variety of services including Celtic

    Communion, Dart Praise and Common Worship Holy Communion.

    There is also a Wild Church/Wild Monastics gathering. The Team

    Rector, Team Vicar and 2 Readers lead the services on a rota

    basis. There are also some lay-led services. A Team Service at one of the team churches is held on the 5th Sunday of the month.

    The electoral roll for the 2 churches is 26. The congregations are

    small but loyal. There is a weekly Prayer Group which meets in the

    Lady Chapel at St Mary’s. Carol services and Christingle service

    are very popular.

    Church trail: A NADFAS church trail has been introduced at St Mary’s to guide children around

    the most interesting parts of the building, to explain their meaning, and to help answer any


  • Finances: Dartington and Brooking have an active and combined P.C.C. We paid our Common

    Fund in full for 2018 and are on track to do the same for 2019. We have an envelope/Gift Aid

    scheme, and are starting to consider the Parish Giving Scheme as a way to increase

    more regular income. Dartington has a higher than average number of weddings which

    provides a good income from fees

    A Coffee and Chat group was started to engage

    with the local community and to discuss new fund-

    raising ideas in support of the fabric of the Church .

    We have 3 concerts in the diary at present. We

    hold cake sales with coffee mornings and Quiz

    nights, all of which have regular support.

    Church Hall The hall is situated across the road

    from the church and was recently refurbished to

    provide a warm, clean and pleasant meeting place. It is well-used for music rehearsals, bodywork classes and various other groups. It provides a

    welcome income stream, and also contact with people outside the normal church congregation.

    Schools and Colleges: Dartington Church of England Primary School is situated just across

    from the church in new modern buildings. A new Head had recently been appointed, and we look

    forward to improving contacts there. The clergy and staff have had good relationships in the past

    and have taken assemblies and services in church for special celebrations such as Christmas,

    Easter, Leavers service. The parish has many other educational establishments including a

    Steiner School, Park School, Bidwell Brook special school, Lifeworks, Schumacher College, and

    various others.

    Dartington Hall and Estate: We are fortunate to have the Hall and Estate as our neighbours.

    There is a programme of residential courses, the Summer Music School, Ways with Words, and

    a programme of recent films at the Barn Theatre. The Hall gardens are open to the public and

    attract many visitors. Estate and Church contact has been rather intermittent, and it would be

    good to expand on that, and to reach out to the artistic community in the area.

    Parish needs: A recent SWOT survey revealed the following. We have small, declining

    congregations, meaning loss of income and manpower. Brooking has little local community with

    which to grow. We feel we need to engage with the people in the new housing, re-connect with

    those who were churchgoers in the past, with younger people, and to become a more visible

    presence in the parish.

    Person Specification: Of course everyone wishes for the ‘perfect priest’. Our hopes are for

    someone who is a good communicator of the Gospel, who is open-minded and imaginative

    regarding liturgy, and who is ready to reach out to alternative groups in the area. We need help

    with pastoral care to the elderly and needy in the parish, and someone who will be interested in

    making further links with the schools and the Hall. We feel the loss of a parish based priest and

    need contact, experience, patience and the guidance of a leader.

  • St John Baptist - MARLDON


    Our Community

    Geography: Marldon is a beautiful rural parish in the South Hams, comprising Marldon and the

    hamlets of Compton and Westerland. The population is about 3000 – farmers, retirees, and

    younger professionals. It has two inns, a Post Office, shops, garage and holiday cottages.

    Marldon Village Hall: houses functions, Toddler and Pre-School playgroups; there are

    numerous societies, an annual pantomime where church members perform, and an Apple Pie

    Fair. Marldon C of E primary school has around 200 pupils; the church leads fortnightly ‘Open

    the Book’ sessions and hosts regular assemblies. Our Church: Our Worshipping Congregation

    Worship tradition: Most services are Eucharistic. On every fourth

    Sunday, we follow the Celtic Communion and Junior Church joins

    us. Marldon’s choir, with organist Sally

    Martin, has attracted new members including

    youngsters. Junior church meets in the

    Village Hall then always joins us for

    communion, and children help in Harvest, Remembrance Sunday, Christingle and Mothering Sunday services.

    House Group meets fortnightly for discussion while a Pastoral Care

    Team delivers Home Communion. Our team includes visiting clergy and readers, Junior Church workers, a lay Youth group leader, lay ministers and bell ringers.

    The Youth Group meets monthly, helping young people to investigate Christianity, whilst

    developing relationships with other young people. The Uniformed Organisations join us for

    special occasions. Churchwardens, organist and Belltower captain have had Safeguarding


    The Electoral Roll: is 78, with 32% from outside the parish.

    Special services like the Christingle, Easter, the School’s

    Christmas service and Leavers` Service and the Community

    Carol Service see a full church. Occasional offices: In 2018 there were 10 baptisms, 3

    weddings and 11 funerals. Figures for 2019 are: 10 baptisms, 7

    weddings and 9 funerals. Community links include an Annual

    Parish Meal, Church Christmas fair and charity events, while

    Carol Singing supports local hospices. A Monthly Lunch Club is

    organised by a PCC member, and donations are sent to Totnes Food Bank at Totnes Connection Hub.

    Our Buildings

    Marldon’s Church of St. John the Baptist was built in medieval times and first recorded in 1348, the font dating from the rebuild in 1450;

    Grade 1 listed, the church is a fine building of local limestone in the

    late Perpendicular style. The church hosts concerts for up to 150

    adults, whilst local and international organists perform on a Goetze

    and Gwynn organ. Visitors regularly use the church, which opens from

    10 am to 5.30, taking away prayer messages available in pews and

    commenting on its beauty and peacefulness.


  • Our Vision:

    Our main strengths are a thriving Junior church, good pastoral care team and many

    volunteers. The value of the church in the community is reflected in the number of baptisms,

    weddings etc, and the building is well maintained. We also have an attractive website. Our

    challenges are an ageing congregation especially when accessibility is difficult up Church Hill,

    while planned giving does not keep up with costs. Priorities involve deepening our engagement

    with the missing generations, growing lay leadership and providing more opportunities for our

    teenagers and young people to deepen their faith and spirituality.

  • St Mary and St Gabriel - STOKE GABRIEL


    THE PARISH The parish of Stoke Gabriel is a predominantly rural community situated on the east side of the River Dart, some 6 miles from Totnes. The parish includes the village of the same name and the adjoining hamlets of Aish, Duncannon, Port Bridge, Sandridge and Waddeton.

    The population is about 1300 and growing, with several recently completed housing developments. There are families who have lived in the parish for many generations and also retirees and young families with school age children who relocate to the area, providing opportunities for growth in the church and the congregation. There is a strong sense of community with a tradition of involvement in a wide spread of activities.

    THE PARISH CHURCH With its origins in the 13th century, the building is Grade 1 listed and stands, surrounded by its churchyard, at the end of Church Walk - a pretty, cobbled street of medieval houses linking village and church. It overlooks the Mill Pool and the River Dart in an area of outstanding Natural Beauty. The building is well-maintained, has good updated facilities and received a sound quinquennial report in 2016.

    The church also owns the Verger’s Cottage and the Old School Room ( Church Hall) in Church Walk and at the village end of the street, the Church House Inn, run by a tenant landlord - the rental from which helps to support the mission of the church in the parish. The modern vicarage is occupied by the house-for-duty priest who is an integral part of the parish community.

    CHURCH MINISTRY The church has been at the centre of parish life for generations and remains so in the 21st century, living the gospel in the parish, bringing people together, caring for and supporting the wider community and marking significant events in individual, parish and national life

    In worship, prayer is a key part and is enhanced by liturgy, good choral music and a strong sense of

    individual members being the living presence of Christ.

    PERCEIVED STRENGTHS • A strong, welcoming and inclusive congregation

    involved in both liturgical and caring aspects of church life. • A broad church with a traditional mix of BCP and CW liturgy

    in Choral Eucharist/Matins, intimate Communion services and BCP Evensong • A Strong Choral tradition.

    with an adult SATB choir and organist at 11.15/18.30 and all festival services • Positive two-way engagement with the village and parish.

    with ‘outreach’ activities and services inclusive of local councils and organisations.

    The Team Rector is the incumbent, chairing PCC meetings and taking an active role in the life of

    the parish, together with Associate Priest, Reverend Gill Still, who as a house-for-duty priest is

    resident in the vicarage. She leads worship in the church and in small study groups, provides

    formal and informal pastoral care and leads the church in its mission to the parish. They are

    supported by a Lay Reader, a Verger, Church Wardens and PCC and by the active involvement

    of a committed and loyal congregation.

    As members of the Totnes MC we value the leadership of team clergy in our services, in

    weddings, funerals and in the pastoral support not only of the church but of the wider community.

    We are particularly appreciative of the presence in the parish of Gill Still whose day-to-day input to the

    local community is extensive and highly valued. We participate with others in combined MC services

    and support Totnes Connection Hub and other local charities and through our common fund, the

    less favoured churches in the community. 


    • An informal pastoral care network, both clergy and laity, provides care and support for the sick and bereaved and for others for whom life presents difficulties and challenges.

    • An ‘outreach’ group of lay volunteers, run a twice a month lunch club for the elderly and those living

    alone, serving up to 60 individuals from across the parish in most months. • A bereavement group, led by Gill Still, meets monthly in a local bistro for conversation and peer


    • Children’s activity afternoons held on Saturdays at times of the key festivals of the Christian Calendar introduce local children to the message of the gospel and bring them into the church community.

    • An adult SATB choir of some 20 members, led by an accomplished

    organist, sings at 11.15 and 18.30 services, at weddings and funerals and in special services and events throughout the year. The choir joins with St Mary’s Totnes from time-to-time for team services and other occasions with regular cooperation between organists.

    • An enthusiastic team of call change ringers ring for most services, for

    weddings and funerals. They also participate in competitions and have won numerous competitions including the county championship.

    Statistics: 2018/19

    Electoral roll -96

    Attendance - 60

    Christmas/Easter - 100

    Weddings 6; Baptisms 7 Funerals 8

    Common fund


    • A loyal and talented team of flower arrangers provide displays each week and at festival times dress

    the church with beautiful memorial displays. • Day-to-day organisation of the church and the old school room is provided by the verger, who is also

    a mine of information on local church and parish history. • A separate ‘Friends’ organisation provides very valuable financial contributions to the maintenance of

    the church buildings, churchyard and surrounding walls. • Through careful stewardship our substantial common fund contributions are paid in full and on time.

    LOOKING TO THE FUTURE In its parish church, Stoke Gabriel has a sustainable Christian community which has the potential for growth, given migration to the village of families and retirees. It is fortunate to remain the first port of call for many in the parish at times of need and continues to serve and be respected by that community.

    We appreciate the loyalty and involvement of members of the community, not


    just regular church goers in many of the activities of the church.

    The Associate Priest is seen as the face of the Church, being among and of

    the parish she serves.

    In looking to the future, the PCC and church officers wish to:

    • keep and grow the congregations, • deepen the faith of its members through good teaching • continue to bring the gospel to the parish in a practical and

    appropriate manner Service • continue to work with young people and their parents • maintain and extend the care of the lonely and vulnerable • protect the very special relationship with the parish we serve.

    To this effect, we look to the clergy of the Mission Community for :

    • Leadership of our principal services • Inspiring Christian teaching in spiritual and pastoral matters • Continuation of the residency of a priest in the vicarage, with a

    clear role in the spiritual and pastoral life of the parish. 
 Service by Dart


    First Sunday in month

    Totnes St Mary’s 08.00 BCP Holy Communion

    Stoke Gabriel St Mary’s 08.15 BCP Holy Communion

    Marldon St John’s 09.15 Sung Eucharist

    Brooking St Barnabas 09.15 BCP Holy Communion

    Cornworthy St Peter’s 09.15 Sung Eucharist

    Bridgetown St John’s 09.30 Sung Eucharist

    Stoke Gabriel St Mary’s 11.15 Choral Eucharist (CW)

    Berry Pomeroy St Mary’s 11.15 Holy Communion

    Totnes St Mary’s 11.15 Choral Eucharist

    Ashprington St David’s 11.15 HC by extension

    Dartington St Mary’s 11.15 Common Worship HC

    Totnes St Mary’s 18.30 Sung Compline

    Bridgetown St John’s 18.30 Sacred Space on alternate months

    Second Sunday in month

    Totnes St Mary’s 08.00 BCP Holy Communion

    Marldon St John’s 09.15 Sung Eucharist

    Brooking St Barnabas 09.15 BCP Holy Communion

    Cornworthy St Peter’s 09.15 Sung Eucharist

    Bridgetown St John’s 09.30 Sung Eucharist

    Stoke Gabriel St Mary’s 11.15 Choral Eucharist (CW)

    Berry Pomeroy St Mary’s 11.15 Holy Communion

    Totnes St Mary’s 11.15 Choral Eucharist

    Ashprington St David’s 11.15 HC by extension

    Dartington St Mary’s 11.15 United service with Brooking

    Stoke Gabriel 18.30 Evensong (BCP)

    Third Sunday in month

    Totnes St Mary’s 08.00 BCP Holy Communion

    Stoke Gabriel St Mary’s 08.15 BCP Holy Communion

    Marldon St John’s 09.15 Sung Eucharist

    Brooking St Barnabas 09.15 Matins

    Cornworthy St Peter’s 09.15 United with Ashprington

    Bridgetown St John’s 09.30 Sung Eucharist

    Stoke Gabriel St Mary’s 11.15 Choral Matins

    Berry Pomeroy St Mary’s 11.15 Holy Communion

    Totnes St Mary’s 11.15 Choral Eucharist

    Ashprington St David’s 11.15 Sung Eucharist

    Dartington St Mary’s 11.15 Dart Praise

    Totnes St Mary’s 18.30 Choral Evensong

  • Fourth Sunday in month

    Totnes St Mary’s 08.00 BCP Holy Communion Marldon St John’s 09.15 Celtic Communion Brooking St Barnabas 09.15 United with St Mary’s Dartington Cornworthy St Peter’s 09.15 Village worship Bridgetown St John’s 09.30 Sung Eucharist Stoke Gabriel St Mary’s 11.15 Choral Eucharist (CW) Berry Pomeroy St Mary’s 11.15 Holy Communion Totnes St Mary’s 11.15 Choral Eucharist Ashprington St David’s 11.15 Village Worship Dartington St Mary’s 11.15 Celtic Communion Stoke Gabriel 18.30 Evensong (BCP)

    Fifth Sunday in month 10.30 Team Eucharist held in one of the team churches Wednesday Mid-week Eucharists take place each week in Stoke Gabriel Parish Church at 10.00am and St Mary`s, Totnes at 10.30 am.


    The Rectory is a 1930s build with internal Art Deco

    features. It is a detached house with double bay

    windows creating a spacious living room and study

    and two large double bedrooms. The house also has

    two additional single bedrooms, a dining room looking

    onto the back garden and a well-appointed kitchen

    and utility room. Upstairs, there is a spacious

    bath-room with separate shower cubical and bath. 

    Also, on the ground floor, a large glassed in porch

    and WC discretely tucked in under the stairs. One of

    the attractive features of the house is that it is

    surrounded by garden, but of a manageable scale.

    Parking is located at the back of the house with hard

    standing for two cars. Interesting outbuildings and a

    garage which is useful for storage.

    The house is well located in part of Castle Street

    (Northgate), being central to the town and main

    church of St Mary’s, as well as retaining a good

    amount of privacy. It is also five minutes’ walk away

    from Totnes station.



    a working document for a period of change and challenge

    PRIORITY FOR 2020 - appointment of new Team Rector

    to lead MC into the next stage of its development

    This Draft Mission Action Plan (MAP) represents our collective aspirations about key elements of mission across the Totnes Mission Community, during the next twelve-month period. The aim is for the MAP to be reviewed each year. As the Mission Community contains nine very different churches, not all aspects of this MAP will be applicable to each church or parish. This MAP has been written recognizing that each parish has its own character, its own local needs and opportunities, and that what may work in one place, may not work in others. Our PCCs, in supporting this MAP, are supporting opportunities for growth across the Mission Community, rather than committing themselves to any particular activity in mission within their parish. This document expresses our hopes about some of the positive initiatives that we pray will bear fruit across the Totnes Mission Community.








    Maintain a living and

    relevant Christian

    presence in the

    parishes of the MC


    reflecting local community spiritual


    People to develop and manage spaces and to encourage the role of prayer in the church

    Training in differing approaches to Christian prayer and



    appropriate to a wide range of people

    to grow congregations

    Survey and explore attitudes to worship in the community

    Consider Team Liturgy booklets and further opportunities for worshipping and working together.

    Training of appropriate worship leaders

    Promote spiritual

    development in the



    Use of ‘RULE OF LIFE’ resources &

    Team Prayer Card

    Inspiring Christian teaching.

    Help in drafting and using “Rule of Life’ materials




    Enable clergy to resume their spiritual and pastoral leadership roles

    Recruitment of Staff/volunteer administrators?

    Office space and equipment?

    Finance implications?









    Draw people of all ages

    and from all walks of

    life into fellowship in



    training resources to help parishioners to

    share their faith

    Lay people in each parish with a heart for engaging with un-churched people

    Spiritual conversation workshops


    Consider at least one well-planned and

    well-prepared access event in each parish

    each year

    Possible input from the Diocesan Mission Enabler; lay

    planning and staff team

    Develop and deepen

    discipleship within


    ANNUAL DISCIPLESHIP COURSES Reviewing the different discipleship courses available – obtaining materials

    Group leadership training

    SMALL GROUPS Small group leader training

    Understand the

    changing values,

    language, interests, and

    concerns of our local




    Ensuring that our historic churches are fit

    for purpose and changing needs

    Community consultations and evaluation of opportunities for increased community access. E.g. “St Mary`s Project” (St. Mary`s, Totnes) and “Reaching Communities” (St. John`s Bridgetown)

    Recruit and train the

    next generation of

    parish and ministry



    Use of lay members in services

    Capable members of the MC who are willing to offer

    themselves as potential leaders Leadership training programme and mentoring


    Maximize the positive

    contacts obtained

    through occasional



    following weddings, baptisms and funerals

    A structure for engaging with those

    encountered through these occasional


    Review Marriage and Baptism Policy and Preparation.

    Bereavement visiting and follow-up

    Training of lay ministers in pastoral care










    Creative engagement

    with communities

    across the MC


    Evaluate local needs.

    Identify and seek to meet one community


    Lay people to engage with meeting the identified community need

    Risk assessment



    Invite unchurched people from our local

    communities to join us in meeting

    community needs

    Local Ambassadors

    Risk assessment

    To grow effective links

    with our local schools


    Lay or ordained link workers

    supporting the children, parents and staff

    in new as well as, traditional ways

    DBS-checked lay and ordained link workers Schools’ work co-ordinators for the whole MC

    Advice and help from the Diocesan Education Department

    Take a lead in

    ecologically and


    responsible ways

    of living as a



    to provide guidance to the parishes on

    ecological and environmental issues

    Co-ordinate interested lay or ordained people to help

    growth in ecological Issues and awareness of Eco Church guidance

    Development of Emerging Church and pioneer ministry

    (Growing the Rural Church)

    Improve our

    stewardship of time,

    talents and finances


    enable people to use their spiritual gifts,

    operate effective financial planning and

    use wisdom in undertaking major building


    A ministry audit of the MC

    Explore the possibility of a Team Council

    Develop MC Treasurers` and Fundraising Team Develop MC Capital Projects Team

    Advice and help from Diocesan Finance and Mission Resources Team