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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 Holy Cross, Highampton 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 and Highampton 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 January 2017.

Read the news from the wider church. Click                  to open the document.

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 Revd. Preb. Kathy Roberts.

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

Website last updated 21 January 2017


Benefice Diary for January

Mon 23rd 8.00am Morning Prayer, All Saint’s, Bradford

Tues 24th 8.00am Prayer Breakfast, Priestacott Barn, Bradford

Wed 25th 8.00am Morning Prayer, All Saint’s, Bradford

Thurs 26th 8.15am Morning and Silent Prayer, All Saint’s, Bradford 2.30pm Service, Burdon Grange, Highampton


Sat 28th 10.00am Table Top Sale, Village Hall, St Mary’s

7.00pm Compline, All Saints, Bradford

Sun 29th 11.00am Benefice Holy Communion, Holy Cross, Highampton

(Parking available at Village Hall if necessary)

 See also “Benefice Calendar 2016” and “Services” pages

Three schools, three harvests

It comes as no surprise that singing ‘We plough the fields and scatter’ was a common theme in each of the harvest services held by the schools in the Benefice. Beyond that, however, each school had its own way of sharing in the celebrations and it's been a great pleasure to listen to the children as they recited poems, shared pictures and artwork, life-sized scarecrows included, and sang songs. The older children drew the distinction between the riches of creation and the ways we sometimes abuse those very gifts, and they led the prayers, each school concluding with their interpretations of the Lord's Prayer.

At Highampton the colours of harvest were shown through the words 'Thank You', at Bradford myriad different coloured T shirts brought added emphasis to the spoken words and a wonderful display of foods, set out in rainbow colours, was the backdrop for the children as they spoke at Black Torrington. It was a delight to see so many parents and grandparents in attendance, total numbers reaching just short of one hundred at one of the services.

Events such as these don't happen without many hands sharing the work. Thanks must go to the children and their teachers for all that they've given, and to the 'catering staff' who smilingly serve endless cups of tea and coffee, squash and juices, cake and biscuits. Not to be forgotten were the delicious autumn muffins baked by Bradford School's cookery club. There didn't seem to be any left over! Thanks too to the parents, friends, brothers and sisters who came, bringing not just themselves but also generous donations for Food Bank.

Thank you, one and all!