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A Mission Community in the Diocese of Exeter

The late Felicity Halfpenny

A simple funeral has been arranged for Felicity Halfpenny on Monday 23rd March at the church, beginning at 1pm. We are keen to celebrate Felicity’s life and mourn her leaving, if you are able to come to the service please wear what you are comfortable wearing. We are however also very keen to protect those who are most vulnerable. If you have a cough or showing symptoms please do not come to the service and stay at home. There will be a condolence book at the back of church and we would be grateful if you could share your memories of Felicity BEFORE the service as well as after if you are unable to attend. I think it would also be really appropriate if you were able to have a go at a sketch For this book, perhaps a flower or landscape or bird... in honour of Felicity’s creativity? The service will be followed by cremation for family and close friends only - and no wake. We are hoping that perhaps we could remember Felicity at the time of her birthday in September with a cake and exhibition of her paintings, when hopefully we have emerged from this period of social distancing. 

Parish Reorganisation


During February and early March a Public Consultation was held into proposals by the Church Commissioners to dissolve the parish of Stoke Rivers, and for it to be part of the enlarged and renamed parish of Bratton Fleming with Stoke Rivers.


The reason for the proposed change was that it had not been possible to form a PCC in Stoke Rivers, and was therefore unable to function.


In order for the church to remain open, and be available for services, it would be necessary for the church to become a chapel of ease in an adjoining village.

Responsibility for running costs (insurance, parish share etc), and maintaining the church building will now be vested with The Friends of St Barts, a voluntary group that has pledged to fund raise to cover the costs. 


The reorganisation will have no effect on St Peter’s, apart from some additional admin work. The finances for the two churches will continue to be seperate.


The scheme was approved by the Church Commissioners on 16 April, and came into effect on 1 May 2020.



Sunday Service at Home


Like all Churches, we have had to find different ways of ‘doing church’ since the lockdown closed all our church buildings.


Throughout April we have been trying to maintain contact with as many people as possible, by emailing or posting the Sunday Link and the Sunday Service each week.


If you know of someone who doesn’t receive one at the moment, but would like to, please contact Rosie or Terry so that they can be included on the list.



Changing Times


This past month or so has certainly been unlike any other, as we have all had to find new ways of doing things.


For some it has been working from home. For others it has been attending virtual meetings without having to leave the house. Some have made online purchases for the first time as all the shops are shut. For some it has been having their prescriptions drop through their letter-box from an on-line pharmacy. For many others it has been receiving the weekly shop from their supermarket delivered to their doorstep, or by using the Click & Collect facility.


The Church has been at the forefront of technology to reach the people. The Archbishop of Canterbury has led the UK’s largest online school assembly from his kitchen, the same room that he used to deliver his Easter Day service. Meanwhile the Archbishop of York used his front room to deliver a service.  


Recent reports indicate that more people have been watching services online than normally attend church on a Sunday.


Closer to home, clergy throughout Devon have been leaning how to live-stream or pre-record their Sunday service.


Here in the Mission Community, we are grateful to Rosie for providing three options for parishioners to continue to  ‘attend’ church each Sunday.


The 10am telephone conference call is suitable for all those without internet 

access or a suitable device. It can be accessed by any telephone - both landline and mobile.  


The 11am Zoom service enables all those with internet access to join together and to see each other, as well as the Order of Service.


If you have not already attended one of the services, and would like to but are unsure how to do it, please contact Rosie.


The third option, which is proving equally popular, is by joining in with the on-line service which is posted on the website. This has the advantage of being accessible at any time throughout the week.


As we look to the future, it is highly unlikely that things will be exactly the same.  Some may wish to continue receiving this magazine and Sunday Link by email, thereby making the church ‘greener’.  Hopefully we will continue to think more of others, and keep in touch by telephone or other methods. It may be that the on-line service should continue, enabling the church to reach those who may find the Sunday morning service difficult to attend. 


Someone once commented at a meeting that the day may come when a service was held at one church, and ‘beamed out’ to the others. That day may still be far off, but taking the Sunday service into people’s homes has already become a reality.  Perhaps some good has already come out of this terrible situation we now find ourselves in.