Image description


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 May  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


Image description
Image description

Rev Chris Tull Writes . . . 



What is your vision of a really good church service? One where everyone experiences the presence of God and feels the power of the Holy Spirit?  Where there is real warmth and love? Where all generations feel at home? 

Where troubled souls find help and go on their way strengthened and comforted? Where there is awe and beauty in worship? Where unbelievers find their way to God? Where…  I leave you to add to the list.

Hopefully some of these things may be true of your church, but you may well feel we still have a long way to go. Churches should be transforming the world around them. Lives, indeed whole civilisations, have been filled with light and joy in times past. It can happen again. How? The answer is quite simple – by the power of God working in our churches and using the earnest prayers of the faithful.  This is much more than just a quick one sentence prayer for God to bless our church. Real prayer is more demanding, requiring time and faith. It is also urgently needed today – just look at the daily news. 

One step toward this is the Prayer Walking which takes place in our churches in the run-up to Whitsunday or Pentecost when we pray for the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Please read elsewhere about this year’s programme.

Once the churches observed ‘ember days’ – days of fasting and preparation before major festivals like Christmas. Recently I read an article that noted that while Christmas services are still well attended, they seem to have little influence on life afterwards. We all love being busy preparing for these occasions as if everything depends on us, but the real lasting work is in God’s hands, and in His wisdom He requires our prayers for anything to succeed.  

I write this just after having first prayed hard for and then attending ‘The Easter Experience’ at Arlington Court. I found it moving. Some visitors to the court joined in as well as people from other churches. I even overheard one person say this was a highlight of the year for him. That’s all an encouragement, and just a start. As a church we are beginning to rediscover the importance of prayer. Some people already join in prayer groups, but if you have not been to one, prayer walks are an excellent start and hopefully will lead on much more prayer for our services. Where do we go from here? I am more than happy to explore this with others. What do you think?

One thing is clear to me – When our churches live up to our vision, they will never lack support.  

                                                    CHRISTOPHER TULL



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.