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A Mission Community in the Diocese of Exeter

About Us

Brief History & Description

The Shirwell Mission Community was formed in 2012, although the same seven parishes had previously formed The Shirwell Team since 1990. 

The Shirwell Team had been looked after by two full time clergy, each responsible for four churches (East Down and Arlington had been merged in 1944 to form a united benefice).

The formation of the Mission Community coincided with the retirement of the Team Rector in July 2012 (the Team Vicar had retired a year earlier).

 The present incumbent has responsibility for the whole Mission Community, although she does have a curate, retired clergyman, and a team of Worship Leaders (at Bratton Fleming) to assist her with leading Sunday worship.

The Mission Community covers an area of just under 50 square miles, with a population of approximately 2600.   

The main industry in the area is agriculture and tourism. A part of the parish of Kentisbury, and most of Challacombe, lie withing the 267 square mile Exmoor National Park. The beautiful North Devon coastline, with its famous sandy beaches, surfing bays and rugged cliffs are within easy reach of the parishes.

Farming is predominately sheep, with just a few dairy and beef herds. A number of farm shops in the area provide a readily available source of local meat and vegetables.  

Three primary schools, at Bratton Fleming, Kentisbury and Shirwell, provide education for almost 200 children. Although none are church schools, each have close links with the Church, with regular visits from Open The Book teams.