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St. Winifred’s, Branscombe

St. Winifred’s, Branscombe

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St. Winifred’s is a wonderful church sat deep in the Devon countryside approached by some steep and narrow lanes. It is not a place to rush but all the better for that.

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This church is open each day. I visited on a friday and some very friendly ladies were doing flowers for a wedding on the saturday. There is a friendly welcome notice on the door (this didn’t photograph that well so I haven’t put it up here). There is a guide book in the church as well as a laminated sheet to walk around with. I found some 25 entries in the visitor’s book for May. There was a prayer board (which had been moved away from it’s usual prominent position because of the wedding – so I was told) and a display of church life.

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There is a lovely modern cross on the chancel arch…

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And a rare, triple decker pulpit.

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All in all a very enjoyable visit to a wonderful church in a fantastic setting. The church website is informative. See https://holyford.org/churches/branscombe/st-winifreds-church/ but doesn’t give visitor information which is a shame.

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St. Paul’s, Honiton

St. Paul’s, Honiton

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St. Paul’s sit in the middle of the town and provided a welcome respite from the rain! It is open each day as it’s notice board proudly says. Many churches forget this!

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Inside, I found a well cared for and welcoming church. It was nice to see a display about the people of the church and what goes on here. It is not hard to do things like this but it does give a good welcome to people.

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There is a votive stand to use and a children’s area.

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A small chapel has been created and this has the blessed sacrament in it. People are encouraged to use this for prayer.

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The church website at http://www.honitoncofe.org/ implies that the church is open but doesn’t actually say so! Some ‘Cross in my pocket’ were for saleĀ  as well as organ music CD’s and some free leaflets.

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St. Gregory’s, Seaton

St. Gregory’s, Seaton

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St. Gregory’s was open, despite some mixed messages given by the sign on the door! Inside, I found a well cared for church with some interesting features. There were prayer cards and booklets as well as some ‘Contemplation Cards’ which was an unusual touch. Also, an Easter Garden and a good children’s area.

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A prayer request board is available (and well used) and a nice prayer area has been set up in a side chapel alongside the blessed sacrament.

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There is a charming knitted ‘Last Supper’ – I haven’t seen one of these before.

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The church’s website is at http://www.coastalchurch.org.uk/ but doesn’t give any visitor info (although a lot of other things are on it). There us a Whistler window as well.

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St. Michael’s, Axmouth

St. Michael’s, Axmouth

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Almost beside the River Axe sits St. Michael’s which is clearly singed as being open each day. But first things first, I always have a look at church websites before I visit and this one is at http://www.axmouthcommunity.org/ but it doesn’t give any visitor info that I can see. However, there are some services recorded on soundcloud so that people can listen in. That is an excellent idea.

This is an interesting church with quite a bit to see. I found some laminated guide cards as well as leaflets about the wall paintings and a World War 1 folder giving details of those who died in that terrible conflict. There was also an excellent prayer leaflet and a prayer box to put requests into. Things that are worth putting some effort into. Also something I have never seen before, a laminated card with a prayer for use before a Church service. A lot of thought has gone into all this. I counted 22 visitors in the book this year so far, some who had called in after seeing the church as it stands beside a busy road.

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There is a chapel, The Bindon Chapel, which has been re ordered to make a usable space for all sorts of things. Worth a look.

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St. Mary the Virgin, Combyne

St. Mary the Virgin, Combyne

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A trip for some quiet at St. Rita’s Centre in Honiton gave an opportunity to explore a bit on the way there. Firstly, I stopped at this wonderful church, tucked away down typical Devon lanes and well worth a visit. There doesn’t seem to be a website for this church but there is quite a bit on it at http://www.devonhistoricchurches.co.uk/index.php?page=st-mary-the-virgin-combpyne A site worth looking at for Devon’s churches.

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St. Mary’s was open with a simple and timeless interior. I found a guide to walk around with and some cards for sale, featuring a drawing of the church a copy of a book, ‘Pilgrim’s Guide to Devon Churches’ in which St. Mary’s is featured. There is also a folder about World War 1 casualties from the village. This would make a great Small Pilgrim Place. The visitors book had 11 entries for this year so far. Interestingly, several of the entries made reference to people coming here for family research. This is a significant factor in some places. Outside the door is a wonderful model of the church – unusual and charming.

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St. Hubert’s, Idsworth

St. Hubert’s, Idsworth

Mostly my trips are planned quite carefully as this makes best use of the time but, sometimes I just happen across somewhere that I didn’t know existed. So it was with St. Hubert’s. Having some time, I just set off into the countryside and came across this lovely church sat all on it’s own in the middle of a field.

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It is well worth a look at and it is open each day. It is known as ‘The little church in the field.’ There isn’t a website as such but there is a good entry on a church near you (see https://www.achurchnearyou.com/idsworth-st-hubert/) which doesn’t have any visitor information but some history.

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St. Hubert’s gets better the closer you get to it. Inside, it is as though you step back in time..

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The visitors book had 30 entries for April – I visited on 25th. There is a modern doom painting on the chancel arch which was painted in 2000. It is lovely.

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I found a guide booklet and a copy of the ‘Idsworth Prayer’ and there is an active ‘friends’ group which are seeking funds to keep St. Hubert’s in good repair (see http://www.idsworthchurchfriends.org/). It is a church well worth visiting with an wonderful atmosphere. There is also a ‘Prayer station’ – very simple but very effective.

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St. John’s, Rowland’s Castle

St. John’s, Rowland’s Castle

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I found this church locked which was a shame. The church website is at https://www.saintjohnschurch.org.uk/ and has much about the church life here and sets out the values that the church lives by as well as some history but nothing about being open.