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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

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 Preb. Rosie Austin, who lookes after the six parishes. She is assisted by a curate Revd Martyn Tyrrell, two retired clergymen, Rev Preb. 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 Preb Rosie Austin:

Telephone 01598 711962


Click to open the April edition of the Church News magazine
Click to open the April edition of the Church of England Devon magazine
Click to open the May edition of the Church News magazine
Click to open the June edition of the Church News magazine
Click to open the July edition of the Church News magazine
Aug 20.pdf
Click to open the August edition of the Church News magazine
Click to open the September edition of the Church News magazine
Click to open the October 2020 edition of the Church News magazine
Click to open the November 2020 edition of the Church News magazine

 Rector’s Ramblings - November

November is the season of remembering. I’m not sure why – but All Saints, All Souls and Remembrance day all appear this month. 

Often times of remembering are tied in with gathering. Funerals are important times to gather to remember the life of someone lost. Great remembrance parades are held to honour those who served in war and in peace. 

This year, we can’t gather. But yet we remember. 

But actually, in a sense – we do gather, in ways which we are valuing more than ever before. Do you remember the clapping for the NHS during lockdown, when even though we might not even have been able to see our neighbours we made a sound which echoed each evening and lifted hearts? We are not alone! 

Also in lockdown, families here painted stones and left them for others to find – giving people a smile as they walked, connecting the artist with the finder.

In the recent months we’ve made attempts at ‘gathering’ online through zoom or facetime, and made even new connections. I’d never thought I’d be worshipping with my father again week by week in church, living as we do so far apart. Who thought we’d be enjoying telephone conference services, and who had even heard of zoom?

We might not be physically standing next to people, but on Remembrance Sunday we can share the two minute silence on Remembrance alongside millions of others around the world. In doing so there is a real sense also of connecting with our past generations – and laying the path of peace for our future generations. 

Our Christian faith makes clear that we are not alone. While we each might make individual commitments to faith, we come together to support and encourage one another. Reading the Bible, I find, is so much more encouraging in a group of people – with each person in a group seeing something different and new in the texts we read.

Romans 12:4,5 reminds us that we are one body – with different gifts which are valued. We are members belonging to one another. None of that has changed – even in these times. 

The book of Hebrews tells of us being surrounded by a ‘cloud of witnesses’. We stand alongside the generations before us who have led us to the faith, and with the generations still to come with our prayers and actions in the here and now. We each hope to be ‘saints’ to light the way for those still to come, living for them as much as for ourselves. What would it look like if we lived in that way, to protect and preserve all that we enjoy now for those not yet born? 


My prayer is for each of you. That no matter how alone you might be feeling at this moment – you are not alone, and you are loved. You are remembered. We are part of one another. 

Blessings,         Rosie



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 with Stoke Rivers:   Terry Squire Tel: 01598 710526  
Challacombe:   Carole Huxtable Tel: 01598 751310
East Down with Arlington:   Linda Watt Tel: 01271 882376
Kentisbury: Rev Rosie Austin    Tel: 01598 711962   
Loxhore:   Mike Matthews Tel: 01271 850550 
Shirwell:   Averil Richardson Tel: 01271 850537



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