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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 July  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


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Rev Jonathan Froggatt Writes . . .

The Quaker Way


Not far from our house in Cornwall, in a quiet valley, is the Quaker Meeting house at Come to Good. When I was minister at nearby Carnon Downs I would often call in there. As soon as I opened the heavy oak door I felt enfolded by the atmosphere of quiet and tranquillity. I found it easy to pray there and always left feeling closer to God. I still call there when in Cornwall and still appreciate the restful silence.

I believe that we have much to learn from Quaker ways of worship and turning faith into action. In our worship we like to have an order of service in front of us and to know what is coming next. We can feel uneasy with silence in our prayers, even for just a couple of minutes. In Quaker worship there may be ten or fifteen minutes of silence before someone is prompted to speak. That silence is used to meditate and reflect on God. Maybe we need to make space in our worship and our lives to be still before God and to give Him time to speak to us.


When visiting our son Sam in Edinburgh we called into the Quaker meeting house and I picked up a little booklet called Advices and Queries. It is a guide for all Quakers in their personal lives and life as part of a religious community. Here is a quote

               “Live adventurously. When choices arise, do you take the way that offers the fullest opportunity for the use of your gifts in the service of God and the community?”


Many Quakers have turned this challenge into action over the years. This was especially true in the late 1930’s in Germany when Jews were facing increasing persecution. British Quakers were actively involved in the Kinder transport, when over 10,000 Jewish children were enabled to escape Nazi Germany. Quakers were waiting on the station platforms when the trains arrived, organised foster families for the children and continued to give financial support as long as it was needed. Many Jewish children were given full scholarships at Quaker boarding schools with over a thousand children benefitting in this way. 


Since the Quakers came into existence in the 1650’s they have been quietly witnessing to the compassionate and peaceful love of God. In this year when we have remembered those involved in the D Day landings, the Quakers have much to teach us about the power of non-violence.    They also have much to teach us about turning faith into action. I would encourage you to find out more about them.


God bless you all,


Jonathan Froggatt


The Quaker website can be found at :


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 are:

Bratton Fleming:   Terry Squire Tel: 01598 710526  
Challacombe:   Carole Huxtable Tel: 01598 763217 
East Down with Arlington:   Linda Watt Tel: 01271 882376   
Kentisbury:   Margaret Purchase Tel: 01598 763207  
Loxhore:   Mike Matthews Tel: 01271 850550 
Shirwell:   Averil Richardson Tel: 01271 850537
Stoke Rivers:  Rev Rosie Austin  Tel: 01598 711962



The link to the Diocesan Safeguarding Team’s contact details -


The following organisations offer helplines: 
 NSPCC: 0808 800 5000 • Childline: 0800 1111 • Stop It Now: 0808 1000 900 • NAPAC: 0808 801 0331 • Samaritans: 116 123 • Family Lives: 0808 800 2222 • National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 • Action On Elder Abuse: 080 8808 8141