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A Mission Community in the Diocese of Exeter

The Easter Experience

This lived up to its name as an estimated 70/80 people from the 8 churches of the Shirwell Mission Community together with visitors to Arlington Court, joined in a moving re-enactment of the events now commemorated at Easter which took place more than 2,000 years ago in the Holy Land.  The Rev Rosie Austin and Curate Rev Martyn Tyrrell , who choreographed the activity, led the costumed characters from the 3 Open the Book teams of the Shirwell group of churches, complete with a replica donkey, in procession through the grounds of Arlington Court, as the story progressed from Jesus arriving by donkey in Jerusalem to the Last Supper, the Crucifixion and joyous Resurrection.

The well known story, narrated  by Audrey Dever and Peter  Ayrton ,was interspersed with music, Easter hymns accompanied by Ceridwen Rees on the keyboard, creation of Easter Gardens by the children and interactive activities including messages on the cross and reflections on how the events of that time influenced and still affect our lives today.  Many people were involved in setting up, performing and participating in the event and all were grateful to the National Trust for allowing the use of the lovely gardens, for the lovely spring weather and the nourishing food available in the tearoom afterwards.


Special Charity Coffeeshop

Held on April 5, organised by Julie Kift and Liz Smyth, was a successful event with a good turnout offering the usual excellent choice of  savouries and cakes to accompany the freshly brewed coffee and tea. N D Hospice and Cancer Research  were the chosen charities and shared the excellent sum of £256 which included the proceeds from the raffle, well run by Emma Lerwill helped by Mum Helen.

In the snow postponed March 100 Club Draw,  Alan and Sue Black won 1st Prize with 2nd prize for Anne Mant while the April Draw produced Ist prize for Philip Done and 2nd prize winners Ray and Carol Thomas.

Easter Sunday Church

Attracted a larger congregation including as visitors a young couple and child from Germany. Ceridwen playing the keyboard was a different and lovely accompaniment to the Easter Hymns much appreciated by everyone and the service leader was Rev. Rosie Austin.

Flower Festival

Jenny Dellow is planning one of her wonderful Flower Festivals to be held at Arlington Church between 24 – 27 August with the theme ‘OUR GREEN AND PLEASANT LAND’.  If you would like to take part contact Jenny Tel: 01271 812746 or email

Church AGM

At the APCM on Thursday April 19 Julie Kift and Peter Bunch were elected Churchwardens  for the combined East, Down with Arlington Parish with Oliver Rudwick and James Stout  deputies. Linda Watt is to continue as Secretary Edward Mather as Treasurer and Shirley Lerwill and Ann Norton will also be remaining  as members of the Parochial Church Council(PCC).


It was reported that much work is either already underway or planned on both East Down and Arlington church buildings including the nearly finished overhaul of slate roofing and replacement of rainwater goods at Arlington , repairs to the cracked tower and other defects revealed in the 5 yearly survey  at East Down and electrical work at both churches, finance for which is coming from recent and continuing fundraising events augmented by some grant aid.


During the warmer summer months of June and July it was decided to try the shorter and  more informal 3rd Sunday Morning Service at Arlington Church plus another Summer service combined with a Flower Festival planned for the end of August bank holiday weekend.


Pastoral Care for parishioners who need it continues and the combined Parish also supplies members of  2 ‘Open the Book ‘ teams in local Primary schools.  The PCC representatives to the Village Hall Trustees committee will continue to be Rod Crossman and Ray Thomas.


Concluding the meeting Rev.Rosie’s report praised the members of the PCC for their voluntary work for the Church in East Down and Arlington and in turn she and curate Martyn Tyrrell were thanked for their dedication and hard work in the parishes.

Prayer Pilgrimage

Between the churches  Friday 18th May commencing 10.30am.  A lovely walk over the river from East Down Church, ending with a picnic at Arlington (and a lift back to East Down) BRING A PICNIC LUNCH. Rev.Rosie 01598 711962 for details or just turn up.