St Johns church warkleigh

One of the beautiful cottages in WarkleighNaturally beautiful cottages seem the norm for this area of devon

Surrounded by Devon countryside, the rural hamlet of Warkleigh is midway between Exmoor and Dartmoor, a short drive from the
market towns of South Molton and Barnstaple and within easy reach of North Devon's glorious beaches and dramatic coastline.

Church of St. John the Evangelist, Warkleigh

St John's is a mediaeval, church building and visitors will find a written guide to its interesting history inside the Church. Visitors to the Church may be surprised to find the path leading up to it is in the middle of a farm – the farmhouse on one side and farm buildings on the other.  In fact, the parish is so rural and scattered that it is not an easy place to find – but well worth the challenge!  Once there, a public footpath leads you down the Church path and past a cottage (once the old parish workhouse) adjoining the churchyard, where you will see the most wonderful views.
It is the people that make the Church, and this is evident here.  It may be a scattered, lightly-populated parish, but we have an average adult attendance of 27 at our fortnightly services and there is a welcoming atmosphere in the Church, which buzzes with conversation both before and after the services, and visitors are made most welcome.  Before each service the six bells are rung by our team of bell ringers.  Several of us take part in the services – reading lessons and leading intercessions, and occasionally leading a service. 

We are also fortunate to have a small, but lively, Junior Church.  When we have special services, such as our popular Songs of Praise (where we are also known for our refreshments!), people come from far and wide and the Church is well-filled.  Another of our special services is our annual Plough Sunday Service, where an ancient plough is carried through the Church and all those participating are from the local farming community.  We have a house meeting once a month for Bible study, and we join with other Churches in our group for study courses. 

The upkeep of the Church is expensive for such a small community but, as well as our regular giving, we enjoy a great social life, some of which also helps to raise funds.  Two or three times a year we hold a stall in South Molton market - an exhausting time of preparation beforehand, but lovely to meet people from other villages around the area.  We have various other fund-raising activities each year and, for the first time this year we held outdoor carols around a Christmas tree erected on the green at the entrance to the Church, with a bonfire, mulled wine and mince pies, and the money raised at this and our Church carol service was donated to the Children’s Hospice South West.   


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