Annual report 2018

St Andrew’s Church, Clayhidon: Annual Report to Clayhidon Parish Meeting for 2018.



St Andrew’s, Clayhidon, is part of the Upper Culm Valley Mission Community, including Hemyock with Culm Davy, Clayhidon and Culmstock. It is in the diocese of Exeter and in the Deanery of Cullompton and Tiverton.

The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is a charity exempted from registration with the Charity Commission.

Members of the PCC are either ex officio or elected at the APCM meeting in accordance with Church Representation Rules. Church attendees are encouraged to register on the Electoral Roll and stand for election to the PCC.


During 2018 the following served as members:


Priest-in-charge/Rector. Rev. David Burton                            Chairman (until retirement in September 2018)

Wardens                              Mr. Stephen Bullett

                                                Mrs. Pamela Reynolds until April 2018

                                                Mr. Denis Sanders from April 2018


Deanery Synod                 Mrs. Brenda Persey


Elected members             Mr. Michael Hudson                       Vice-chairman

                                                Mr. Michael Osmond                     Hon. Treasurer

                                                Mr. Michael Reynolds                    Hon. Secretary

Mr. Maurice Bendle

Mrs. Maureen Bendle, from April 2018

                                                Mrs. Julie Bullett


The PCC and incumbent are responsible for promoting the pastoral, social and ecumenical mission within the ecclesiastical parish. They are also responsible for the maintenance of the Church and Church Room.

There are 36 members on the electoral roll. Average attendance during May was 17 which increased at festivals.

The PCC met 5 times during the year with good attendance, plus the APCM in April.  


A safe-guarding officer, Sue Bennett (based in Hemyock), has worked for the whole Benefice.

The Benefice administrator – Hilary Clements – is the first point of contact for anyone wanting information or to make arrangements for special services and has been heavily involved in the recruitment process for a new Rector as well as building a new website for the Benefice.


Review of the year.

In January, the annual Plough Sunday service was held, with young children bringing in an ancient plough, which was delightful. There was also a joint service when Rosemary Lane Chapel visited us, another opportunity for our social church needs.

This was soon followed by the period of Lent starting with Holy Communion on Ash Wednesday taken by Rev. Ron White. During Lent a group gathered together for an evening each week at to study “The Eucharist”. The Mothering Sunday service was preceded by various children making posies (in church) for the mothers. On Palm Sunday the congregation processed to church from the church gate carrying their palm crosses. Services were held in each of the Benefice churches during Holy Week, before Easter morning’s ‘Sunrise Service’ at a field at Grays Farm, Clayhidon when people came from all the churches in the area. This was followed by full English breakfast prepared and served at Hemyock Church Room.

In May the wardens were present at the Archdeacon’s Visitation in Ottery St. Mary.

May was also the month for our Rogation Sunday afternoon service, including the walk around the church environs, and when extra visitors joined us.

In June we held our annual Open Air Service at Fields Farm, with participation by young people before a swim and then refreshments. The following week we welcomed our friends from Rosemary Lane Chapel to our morning service.

In July there were more people attending for the Cyclists’ service with a picnic lunch eaten in the Churchyard. 

At the end of August a hog-roast type lunch was organised to be held in a marquee on Garlands Bower, but a storm the previous night demolished the marquee (fortunately without damage) so the lunch was hurriedly relocated to the parish hall!

The Local History Group held an exhibition in the church, celebrating past weddings in the parish, over the same weekend. 

Rev David Burton held his final service in the Benefice on 9th September in St. Mary’s Hemyock, followed by a farewell lunch in Hemyock village hall.

The annual September Horse Riders’ service was conducted by David Major and attended by a big crowd from the equestrian community.

Harvest Festival time was on the first weekend of October as usual, with the parish service on Friday evening before the meal in the Village Hall. A harvest Communion service was held the on Sunday and a harvest family service the following week.

Our friends from Rosemary Lane Chapel joined us for the St Luke’s Day service on 21st October.

St Andrew’s Day was celebrated with the whole benefice coming to Clayhidon for the service. Refreshments were available for all, after which fifteen of the congregation gathered in the Half Moon public house for a lunch.

Our Christingle service was held on Saturday 8th December and devised and led by our younger families. The usual Christmas service of “lessons and carols” was held on 16th December and the Nativity service took place on 23rd December. Christmas was celebrated with the usual “Midnight” and Christmas morning services.


The church hosted 1 wedding, 1 renewal of wedding vows, 3 baptisms and 3 burials during the year.



A faculty for replacement of the south aisle roof of the church was obtained early in the year, and the work was done by A & S Roofing Systems of Hatherleigh in April.

Mr Houghton carried out some repointing work to the south wall of the church and more extensive work to the south-west wall of the churchyard. He also repaired the north gatepost of the car park at the same time.

Routine work on the organ including tuning was carried out by Mr M. Farley.

The contract for rental and servicing of fire extinguishers by Chubb was terminated in September and new extinguishers purchased from Fire Services & Supplies Ltd. They will service them annually at much lower cost than Chubb.

A working party in October cleared the church and church room gutters, removed the derelict shed and its contents from the churchyard, replanted a section of the hedge and carried out other cleaning and renovation work.


The car park gate and gatepost (damaged by Skanska during drainage work in the road outside) were replaced by Maurice Bendle and Chris Houghton, they also re-hung the main church gate using a new post.

All external doors of church and church room were refinished by R Snow.


The quinquennial inspection was carried out in November by Russ Palmer – report received in January 2019



The church’s general fund once again showed a deficit at the end of the year, a situation that cannot continue for many more years. The dwindling congregation does its best to keep the church available for the community.

The church’s fabric fund was heavily reduced by the work on the roof despite some excellent fund-raising events in recent years. Maintaining the oldest and largest building in the parish is a continuing challenge.


Other activities.

The churchyard has been kept tidy – chiefly by Tim Reynolds, but with others working also at times.


We would like to thank the many people who give time and effort into keeping our church, churchyard and church room safe, in good repair, clean, attractive and welcoming to visitors. The sacristan, cleaners, flower arrangers, musicians, readers, and so many more, deserve our grateful thanks.


We also thank most sincerely Rev. David Burton for his ministry with us until September 2018 and we wish him a long and happy retirement, and look forward to possibly seeing him at our services from time to time in the future.

We also equally thank the retired clergy and licensed readers who have given their time and teaching so generously throughout the year and particularly during the on-going vacancy period.

The process of recruiting a new Rector for the Benefice is proceeding and it is hoped to be able to commence assessing candidates for the position during April 2019.