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A Mission Community in the Diocese of Exeter


The Shirwell Mission Community comprises eight Churches in seven rural parishes in North Devon:

Bratton Fleming;  Challacombe;  East Down & Arlington; Kentisbury;  Loxhore;  Shirwell and Stoke Rivers.  

The Mission Community

Services during June  2019

The Mission Community lies within the Shirwell Deanery and covers an area of just under 50 square miles with a population of approximately 2600.


The parishes extend north east of Barnstaple to the Exmoor National Park and the Somerset border.


The Rector is Revd Rosie Austin, who lookes after the seven parishes. She is assisted by a curate Revd Martyn Tyrrell, two retired clergymen, Rev Chris Tull from Challacombe and Rev Mike Miller from South Molton. 


Rosie lives in Bratton Fleming, the largest of the parishes and placed centrally within the Mission Community.


Martyn lives in Shirwell, the second largest parish.


All enquiries for weddings, funerals and baptisms should be made to Rev Rosie Austin:

Telephone 01598 711962


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The Curate's Rambles . . .

Thy Kingdom Come.


With the longer days arriving, we see around us the last of the May blossom giving way to the beginning of early summer fruits. Every year I remain in awe of how different flowers burst out in colour with every passing fortnight. I’m sure if there were a time lapse film made of some of our hedgerows, wave after wave of colour would emerge and fade to be followed by yet more brilliance in an ongoing pattern. On our hillsides, once small lambs now are not so small and even the slowest of trees are displaying their shade of green as they catch up with the season. People are looking forward to the brightest evenings, the mildest weather, the warmest seas, the longest days. 


The trouble with waxing lyrical about the seasons, nature and life is that our reality is not quite what the sales brochure picture might be! We can have the warmest weather yet feel the coldest hearts, have the brightest colours outside yet have the bleakest emotions inside. That everything is growing, does not mean everything is getting better. As a Christian I am learning that the only hope that can carry me on, is setting hope on something beyond what we have and see. 


When Jesus broke the power of death by returning to life, the story didn’t end. His words included “don’t hold on to me, I have not yet returned to our Father” and “wait for the gift my Father promised”. Jesus had also said “it is for your good that I am going away, because if I go, I will send the Holy Spirit to you”. The history of temples, hierarchy of special priests and divine rulers were all being set aside in the book of God’s history with us. A direct rule, direct voice and direct relationship with the living God was being made possible for all and any who would turn to it.   


In early June many different churches across our country will be marking a season of prayer called Thy Kingdom Come. Those words are familiar from the Lord’s Prayer. Less familiar perhaps is the good news that the Kingdom that is coming is not a hierarchy; it is a friendship and a transforming presence of a living God who starts making all things new from the inside, where life is needed most.





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:

·         The names and contact details of the Parish Safeguarding Representatives can be found on the 

   Contacts page

·         The link to the Diocesan Safeguarding Team’s contact details -

If you are a young person and you feel unhappy about something happening to you, 

you can call Childline on 0800 11 11.