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St Mary's, Black Torrington All Saints, Bradford St John and the Seven Maccabees, Cookbury Holy Cross, Highampton St Peter's, Thornbury St Mary's, Black Torrington All Saints, Bradford St John, Cookbury  Highampton church, Holy Cross St Peter's, Thornbury

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Black Torrington





A very warm welcome to the Black Torrington Benefice - one church, five venues.

This rural Benefice comprises four parishes in rural north Devon with five churches. We are part of the Holsworthy Deanery, of the Barnstaple Archdeaconry of the Diocese of Exeter. We worship and work together with Christians of all denominations, particularly the Methodist chapels situated in our villages. The Hope chapel in Black Torrington (part of the Torridge Methodist circuit) in particular works closely with our Benefice.

We hope that the information provided in these pages will convey an impression of our churches and that you may be able to visit us if you are close by. We are sure that you will find five places of peace and great beauty with a deep sense of faith. Signs of a lively church community are all around.

You will find details of the history of each of our churches as well as details of our services. Several of the churches also have active bell ringing teams who compete locally.

Details of social events taking place and main items of news will also be found within these pages. See Black Torrington, Bradford, Highampton and Thornbury pages for latest news on events.

If you want to contact us by e-mail, follow the “contact us” link above or send an e-mail message to

New additions:-

Details of Services (click on “Services” on the navigation bar above) and Mission Community News (also on navigation bar above) for Feb 2020.

Read the news from the wider church. Click                    to follow the link to website.

The Offices tab on this page will take you to Church of England Daily offices.

Circulating of Photographs

We respectfully ask that photographs of persons at our Church activities, are not circulated or uploaded to social media including Facebook, unless you have sought the prior permission of those in the photograph.

If you are in any doubt please speak with the Parish Secretary or Churchwarden.

Thank-you for your assistance in protecting and safeguarding all persons in our care, including the young and the vulnerable.

Website last updated 22 February 2020


Services for early March 2020

Sunday 1st March 1st Sunday of Lent

9.30 am Ashwater Holy Communion

10.30 am Clawton Holy Communion by extension

11.00 am Halwill Holy Communion

11.00 am Black Torrington BAPTISM

Sunday 8th March 2nd Sunday of Lent

JOY 2020 Bishops in Mission

3.00 pm Rosemoor Worship Service

See also “Benefice Calendar” and “Services” pages

Would you like to be a volunteer?

Probably not ….but…..

The recent retirement of Kathy and Peter as well as the departure of Mark and Rose has depleted resources in some important areas of the life of the church in the community.

We are therefore seeking a number of people to help out and cover some of their roles.

One area is the school assemblies that take place semi-regularly. You would not have to commit to attending every time—just when you can.

Another area is the Pastoral team, from which we have also lost Sue & David Whitehead, who have recently re-located. I generally describe our work here as being a good neighbour and it includes welcoming new people to our villages. However, there are times when something more is required and this can be flagged for follow-up as necessary.

I am co-ordinating both these areas and would love to have a chat with you if you feel you might be able to help—even in a small way! Please contact me below in confidence and without obligation.


Sandra Holland / 01409 281128

Introducing the Devon Churches Rural Forum

Through meetings, working groups, the website and newsletter the Devon Churches Rural Forum provides both physical and virtual meeting places for anyone interested or involved in rural life and ministry in Devon to share:

Click HERE to visit the website: and HERE for the latest newsletter.


If you have a concern about the safety of someone or the actions of someone working with children or vulnerable adults, please speak to a Churchwarden, Member of the Clergy or to our Safeguarding Representative, whose details are displayed in the porch of each church and in our “Connected” magazine.

·         Our Benefice Safeguarding Representative is Gina Finch.

·         Alternatively, below is a link to the Diocesan Safeguarding Team:

If you are a young person and you feel unhappy about something happening to you, you can call “Childline” on 0800 11 11.