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On the edge of Dartmoor, in the village of Sourton, St Thomas a Becket is a 14th Century church founded on an earlier settlement - going back before 970 when Aelfgyth was Chaplain and it was likely that there was a simple church building on the site. It was dedicated in honour of St. Thomas a Becket in the 14th Century by descendents of two knights who had taken part in the murder of Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 - Fitz Urse and William de Tracey, who were both Devon men. It appears that their successors may have wanted to clear their family names and appease their consciences by rededicating the churches to the Christian martyr. The church at Sourton - on a hillside site with wonderful views from the churchyard - has undergone numerous alterations over the centuries but remains a place of peace where prayer can come easily. 'A moorside church, to Tors akin, Grey without and calm within', in the words of Revd A Hunter, vicar of Sourton 1953-1963.
Today St Thomas' is a member of the Northmoor Team of Churches in the Okehampton area on the north-west edge of Dartmoor. There is a Sunday service every week at St Thomas', and on other special occasions. The bells are rung regularly, and the church is a beautiful venue for baptisms, weddings and other special services. The Team clergy welcome enquiries about baptisms and weddings - see links for more details. Do come to Sourton and visit St Thomas' - new members, and visitors to the area, are very welcome.
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