St John the Baptist is a Grade 1 listed building. It has some rare features including a squint window, allowing the Lord of the manor to see what was happening at the altar when the original rood screen was still in place. The font is Saxon and the church has grown and changed over the centuries including having its spire replaced by a taller tower with pinnacles.
The railings and gates around the churchyard and the war memorial are also listed.
Although the building is steeped in history and tradition the services have moved with the times. We always use Common worship materials and sing some modern hymns as well as the old favourites that mean so much to people bringing back memories of childhood, parents and grandparents and the days of singing hymns in school. Whatever words or music we use it is always about offering praise and worship to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
When possible refreshments are offered after the service on a Sunday morning to allow for a longer time of fellowship.
Messy church takes place once a quarter in church on a Saturday morning and all ages are welcome to come and enjoy and explore the activities and hospitality on offer. Messy church is also offered as an after school club every 6 weeks at Witheridge C of E Team Academy primary school. Vintage Messy at The Firs - residential care home runs about every 6 weeks too. Check the services and events page for the next dates of these activities.
We have close links with the local church primary school supporting them with Governors and Trustee member for the academy, leading collective worship regularly, membership of the ethos group and helping with reading during the school day. The children attend church for harvest, Easter and Christmas services and the annual leaver's service.
A midweek communion at The Firs is available once a month and a songs of praise once a month too both on a Wednesday morning and will restart when permitted.
A contemplative time of worship is now offered every second Wednesday at 10.30 am - an oasis of calm in the middle of the busyness of the week.
The organ was fairly recently restored and is of concert standard, concerts are organised and held regularly so that all can enjoy this glorious instrument and the stunning acoustics of the building.
Coffee mornings are held regularly.
All are welcome to the house group held every Wednesday from 7-9pm at the Vicarage. We have managed to maintain our fellowship and study over zoom while we have been unable to meet together. Recently we have spent 5 months exploring Isaiah and during Lent took a break to study a York course ‘Handing on the torch - sacred words in a secular world’. We learn from each other with members taking it in turns to lead the group. We welcome those within and without the village and are ecumenical.
We have a collection box for goods for the food bank, these are delivered regularly to either CHAT in Tiverton or South Molton Food bank
Reverend Steven Smith has supported us with a weekly sermon since the first lockdown and continues to do so, you will find them here under News and Notices and also on our Facebook page.
We have links with the local Methodist chapel that continue to grow, we meet together to worship on the 5th Sunday in the month.