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A Mission Community in the Diocese of Exeter

Christmas Tree Festival


At the beginning of December the church was once again turned into a magical forest with over forty brightly decorated and lit Christmas trees.


We are grateful for individuals, organisations and businesses from the parish, and those throughout the Mission Community, who took part in the Festival, either by decorating a tree or helping to provide the musical entertainment throughout the weekend.  


Christmas Lunch


Almost 60 children and parents gathered in Church on 18 December for an early Christmas lunch.


Concern had been raised at the Vision Day that there were families that had experienced difficulties during the summer holidays when free school meals were not available for the children.


This was taken up by those attending Monday @ 2, who enquired if something could be done for young families during the Christmas holiday.


As the result of this the invitation went out to families in the parish, many of whom responded.


Following Lunch we had a visit from a very important and busy person, who managed to fit Bratton Fleming into his schedule, to ensure that every child received a present.


We are grateful to Kay and Jon, and their team of hard working helpers, who ensured that nothing was forgotten, and that everything ran smoothly.


We are also very grateful to those who made generous donations towards costs, and other village organisations for their help in making this happen.



Foodbank and 

Give & Take Boxes


We are grateful to everyone who has supported the Barnstaple Foodbank throughout the year, by so generously donating items at the collection points in church and at the shop.


The generosity of Bratton folk was even more evident during the run-up to Christmas as the number of items increased, including what turned out to be a car-load of new and nearly-new toys, including a quantity from a local shop that has closed.


It was hoped to have had the total quantity donated in 2017 in time for this magazine, but this has not been possible due to the heavy workload at the food bank, but we hope to have the figure intimate for next month.


In addition to the food bank we are grateful to everyone who has donated food items etc for local people by placing it in the boxes in the church porch.


At times the turnover of items in these boxes has been quite high, but thanks to everyone concerned, the boxes have never become empty. 


Although it’s a sad reflection of our society today that such needs exist, it’s a privilege to be a part of such a caring community that’s always ready to help those who find themselves in need. 

Christmas Foodbank Collection


Just before Christmas, I delivered 4 trolley loads of food and toys for the Christmas Appeal.  The weight of the food came to 78.85kg.  On the Wednesday after Christmas, a further 23.85 of food was delivered and the total of 102.70kg equates to 242 main meals for people in need.


With sincere and grateful thanks to everyone who has given so generously and also to the toy appeal.  Once again, villagers of Bratton Fleming and surrounding areas made sure every child whose parents are clients of the Foodbank had at least one present to open on Christmas morning and not only did they have the usual staple foods to eat but also some lovely Christmassy treats.

                                                                   Sue Squire

Carols by Candlelight


The church was again filled as people gathered to sing their favourite carols, with the church lit entirely by candles and the lights from the Christmas trees.


A big thank you goes to Roger and the choir for singing so beautifully, and giving the rest of us a chance to rest our voices. Particular thanks to the two soloists, Isobel and Amanda.

A number of people enquired if the choir could perform more regularly, as it was felt a shame for their talent to be aired just once a year. we’ll have to wait and see!


Although early in Advent, the service provided an excellent start to the run-up to Christmas.


Wednesday Prayers


Commencing this month, Wednesday Prayers will be held every Wednesday, alternating between Bratton Fleming and Shirwell.

Bratton will host Praters on the first and third Wednesdays, Shirwell on the second and fourth week.


The only exception to this will be when the day clashes with ‘Stories on the Streets’.



Bishop Sarah

It came as a surprise to learn that Bishop Sarah had been appointed as the new Bishop of London.


Please continue to pray for her as she prepares to take on this important role in the Church of England.


We also pray for those who have the responsibility of appointing a new Bishop of Crediton.