The Friends of the Church of St Mary Magdalene Huntshaw was established on 16th February 2018. Our aims are to raise funds for the maintenance and preservation of the church and to encourage enjoyment and appreciation of it by the people of Huntshaw and the wider community.
Services are available via Zoom only at the moment. See the Two Rivers Mission website for more information. The church is currently closed but we are hoping to open for individual prayer in the near future.
Our lives have been turned upside down by the Covid-19 crisis however there does now appear to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Restrictions on opening churches for individual prayer have been lifted and we hope to open our church for at least one day a week soon. We are also tentatively planning some social events for the summer but are mindful that social distancing measures must be kept.
I went into the church today (20th June) for the first time since mid March and was relieved to find it dry and intact with no leaks or other nasty surprises. Some cleaning is necessary as clearly our bats have not been self isolating or biding by the rules!! On the outside I found that more slates have come off the roof of the porch. This damage was started by the winter storms. We are looking into funding for some urgent repair work which ideally needs to happen this summer. A walk around the churchyard was enriched by birdsong, butterflies and wild flowers. Unfortunately our plans to create a wild flower area at the rear of the church were thwarted by the spring heatwave and our being unable to tend to it. But on a positive note I found a solitary poppy growing beneath one of the yew trees. This I consider to be a sign of things to come.
We intend to continue celebrating the fantastic heritage that our church and village have to offer with the “History of Huntshaw in 100 Objects”. This is a five year project that we hope some (or many) of you will get involve in. Richard Sears is taking our bell restoration project forwards and there is now a scaffold platform in the deadening chamber (above the wooden ceiling) that will allow closer inspection by the Loughborough bell foundry.
Finally our long awaited survey of the graveyard is in its final stages of completion. Richard Sears, local historian, has compiled an impressive 249 page tome of all the headstones and monuments in the church and churchyard and we plan to launch this in September. See below for more details.
COMING UP (COVID-19 PERMITTING!)
The Huntshaw BIG Picnic
Saturday 15th August 2- 5 pm, Huntshaw village
Come along and meet up with friends for a relaxed afternoon in the sunshine catching up with all the news that you have missed during lockdown. Bring your own picnic/beverages. All guidelines will be followed including social distancing.
The Huntshaw 'Ride and Stride' Day
Saturday 12th September, 2- 5 pm, Huntshaw Church
In support of the Devon Historic Churches Trust
We will be launching our new graveyard survey, compiled by Richard Sears. The day will include a guided tour (or stride) around the churchyard where you will be able to find out about the graves and headstones of people who helped to make Huntshaw what it is today. There will be a collection for the Devon Historic Churches Trust. Refreshments available.
UPDATE ON REPAIRS
Phase 1 of the repair work has been completed and we now have a
community space, a restored west door, new flooring and a new tower
roof. We have yet to furnish the community space but are working on it.
Plans for Phase 2 have been put on hold as we are unable to submit our
application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund until at least October.
With uncertainty about the future of the economy who knows if funding
will be available.
HUNTSHAW PARISH HALL
The parish hall has a new management committee and we are delighted to announce that we are teaming up with them to put on joint events and to work closely on other ventures.
If you are on Facebook have a look at the Alverdiscott and Huntshaw Community page and keep up to speed with all that is going on locally. And let us know what you are doing.
A solitary poppy found beneath the yew tree at the rear of the church.
The repair work would not have been possible without the generosity of a number of organisations.
The Coastal Recycling Community Fund has
awarded a grant of £25,000 towards urgent repairs.
The Devon Historic Churches Trust Devon Historic Churches Trust has awarded us a grant of £4,000 and the Allchurches Trust Allchurches Trust has awarded us a grant of £1,500. The Wolfson Foundation in conjunction with ChurchCare have awarded £7,000 for essential work to the fabric of the church. The Bideford Bridge Trust awarded £1,000 in 2018 and again in 2019. Grants will be used to carry out essential repairs to the tower, the west door, pews at the rear of the nave and the vestry floor.
Our thanks also goes to Grow Wild who has awarded us a Wild Flower Seed Kit and a Fungus growing laboratory which we are using in our eco-friendly churchyard. The Grow Wild is a national outreach initiative of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and is supported by the The National Lottery Community Fund
Thank you to all organisations for their generosity
If you have a concern about the safety of someone or the actions of someone working with children or vulnerable adults, please speak to someone:
Our Safeguarding Representatives are:
Rev Gary Owen
Mr Derek Birch
The Diocesan Safeguarding Team can be contacted via:
If you are a young person and you feel unhappy about something happening to you, you can call Childline on 0800 11 11.
Get involved: Keeping the church clean and tidy, maintaining the churchyard, organising fundraising events, contributing to research of the fascinating heritage or simply making the tea. Get involved and do your bit to keep your local church a special place. And have fun along the way! There is something for everyone. See the Events Page to keep up to date with the latest events, news and stories
Making a donation is your opportunity to support and help us raise funds to keep the Church of St Mary Magdalene open for the enjoyment and appreciation of the whole community.
We have implemented a policy of no single use plastics