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.
The church remains closed but we hope to open it for visitors soon. It will remain closed for services for the moment but our sister churches are now open. See the Two Rivers Mission website for more information.
We say goodbye to Michael
It is with great sadness that I report that one of our Friends Michael Barrow died on Thursday, 3rd September. Michael was born in the village and farmed at Knockworthy and was well known for his positive and cheerful approach to life. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the church whose dedication and hard work made him a valued and much loved Friend. He will be greatly missed by Emma, Diana and Audrey, the rest of his family and his many friends.
The AGM will take place at the church on 15th October 2020 at 8pm
Covid-19 has taken its toll on the church
We must now start talking about its future
As you will know there have been no services in the church since March. Nor have there been any fundraising events. This has resulted in a drastically reduced income which has significantly reduced our finances. Consequently, we have not kept up our monthly payments of £61 to the diocese (the Common Fund). These payments are our contribution to our share of a priest and other Diocesan support. The absence of services and defaulting on payments to the Common Fund has serious implications for the future of the church. The time has come to consider its future and we will be discussing this as the first item on the agenda at the Annual General Meeting. The PCC urge you to attend the AGM to let us know what you want from your church. The options are to:
continue as a parish and build a worshipping community in the current building
continue as a parish and become a festival church *
become part of another parish and become a chapel of ease **
become part of another parish, close the building and sell it, possibly to a community trust set up to look after the building
*Becoming a Festival Church means that we can provide a flexible approach to its use including hosting services of worship as and when we want to eg celebrating Christmas, Easter, Harvest Festival, Remembrance Day. At the same time, we would continue to broaden the building’s use as a community resource by putting on cultural, educational and social events
**Becoming a Chapel of Ease would mean that a new united parish would take responsibility for the church in Huntshaw. Alverdiscott is an example of a Chapel of Ease. It is managed by Newton Tracey PCC with the Friends group managing fundraising events for thcare of the building.
More on this to follow soon
The Huntshaw Graveyard Survey is here!
See it first on this website. The survey is the culmination of seven years of intensive research by Richard Sears. Richard was born and grew up at Huntshaw Mill and has maintained strong links
with the village. He has written two books on the history of Huntshaw.
The survey consists of six sections including a 240 page record of each headstone, ledger and memorial complete with photographs, inscriptions and background history. There are records of 800 people buried in the churchyard over the past 400 years but there will have been many more than this as records have been lost. The survey makes fascinating reading. Click on this link for the survey.
Two files containing photos of all the headstones with their inscriptions will be placed in the church, one copy to be kept in the church, and the other that can be loaned to people that would like time to study the information. We had planned to hold a formal launch in September but this has now been postponed until next year.
Thank you for your hard work and commitment Richard.
Damage to the porch roof
Unfortunately the Spring storms have
damaged the porch roof and as you can see
the slates are peeling off. The roof is
unlikely to survive the winter so we are
looking for urgent funding to repair it.
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.
HUNTSHAW PARISH HALL
The Friends work closely with the parish hall management committee and we plan to put on joint events and to work on other ventures when Covid-19 goes away.
Have a look at the Alverdiscott and Huntshaw Community Facebook page and keep up to speed with all that is going on locally. And let us know what you are doing.
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