Welcome to all visitors


Comments and suggestions are welcome! For a speedy response to any questions, please get in touch via our Contacts page.
• Lost or looking for something? Try the search bar at the top-right of each page.
• For News items and enquiries, please contact Jane Mountford 01803 862499
• For Community News, please contact Liz Waterson 01803 849345
• To discuss Events, please contact Julian Hall 01803 867537
If you need urgent help with anything, try here.
Registered Charity Number 1128123


stmarysseal1000pxANOTHER BIG WEBSITE UPDATE is coming soon, with news about exciting projects for St John’s Church, Bridgetown – plus all the latest community news including feedback from recent fundraisers. Meanwhile, below is a Press Release about public consultations over the next couple of weeks for proposed projects in and around St Mary’s Church.
Also below are listings for other upcoming events…
Messy Church heads out of town to Exeter Cathedral for a Messy Fiesta on Saturday 10th June. But if you’re spending that day in Totnes, head down to Vire Island for the Totnes Christian Festival. There’s plenty of singing going on throughout the rest of this month – Ogwell Village Choir, the Collati Singers, and the Chapel Choir of Robinson College. There are also two special services – Wild Church presents an Oak Pilgrimage, plus a Deanery Confirmation on the 3rd Sunday.
Last and far from least, the June edition of the Parish Newsletter is now online; a contents list and a download link are below
PS If you’re near St Mary’s Church on any Tuesday until September, pop in for a Tuesday Special and enjoy refreshments and good company, and help fund Friends of St Mary’s at the same time.

on behalf of Totnes Trust and and Totnes with Bridgetown Parochial Church Council

EXTENSIVE PUBLIC CONSULTATION EVENTS are beginning this week, to involve as many people as possible in shaping projects which will enhance the heart of Totnes. As reported previously in the Totnes Times, a major Parochial Church Council project is underway to restore and re-order St Mary’s Church for more community use. At the same time, Totnes Trust has set up another major and complementary project to realize the true heritage value of the whole surrounding area.

The two projects have come together as St Mary’s Partnership, which has been joined by Totnes Town Council, which is based in the historic Guildhall and undertakes care of the churchyard.
The work of the Partnership is of fundamental importance to the life of the town, both for townsfolk and visitors, and so can only be successful if the public is willing to say what it feels about change and improvement, and contributes creative ideas that can be incorporated into the work of the professional designers who will begin work after the consultations.

Consultation events will be held in the church from
• 12noon-7pm on 8 June; and from
• 10am-4pm on 9-10 June and 15-17 June

There will be displays showing the scope of the projects; how things look now; and what sort of improvements have been made in other places. Some key questions about the future will be set out, and volunteers will be on hand to answer queries and encourage visitors to leave a record of their own questions and ideas.
Apart from the urgent work that needs doing to repair the ‘at risk’ exterior of the church building, the PCC’s St Mary’s Renovation Project hopes to carry out a re-ordering of the church interior to make it more widely useable for the community in the 21st century.
Basic utilities like heating and toilets need to be brought up to date. Spaces could be more flexible for a wider variety of uses, and any adaptations for special types of uses and events need to be thought through. Current and potential users must have a major say in what happens.
The area around the church is one of the most importantly historic in any small town in the UK. It includes Tudor merchants’ houses facing the church across a magnificent ‘St Mary’s Square’; a churchyard underlain by the remains of an ancient Priory; the remains of the town wall ramparts walkway; the peaceful green amenity space of the churchyard; and the unique Elizabethan Guildhall hidden behind the church.
The Heritage Area Project aims to raise the quality of all these buildings and spaces, to make them a source of pride for citizens and a joy for visitors – a heritage site of national importance, and a generator of economic activity. This will only happen with full public engagement and support.
Ideas emerging from these consultations will be converted into initial sketches by design professionals, and there will be more consultation based on this in the autumn.
Help needed: We need people to help as stewards for an hour or so on the consultation days (see above for dates and times). Any time you can spare would be helpful – if you can help or want more information, please email Frances Northrop or telephone 0770 6466841.


Tuesday 6th June from 10.30am to 1pm’ish
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Toasted teacake, coffee, warm welcome – every Tuesday until September. Tables and chairs outside in the sunshine (inside seating also available). In support of the Friends of St Mary’s
• more information from Sandra Nicholson on 01626 330049

Saturday 10th June
from 10.30am to 1.30pm
Exeter Cathedral
All the fun of Messy Church with more people and more space…
From the Exeter Cathedral website“Messy Church is a way-of-being church for families involving fun. This event will bring all the Messy Churches of Devon together to experience a little of ‘worldwide church’ and celebrate all that God is doing. It’s also a great way to bond with your Messy Families by going somewhere together as Messy Church.” If anyone would like more information please ring Diana Lusher on 01803 840702 or 07710 222955. We then start again after the holidays on September 16th.
more about Messy Church here
• see some photos of Messy Church

NEW: Sunday 10th June from 11am to 4pm
Wild Church
Join us for a longer silent pilgrimage to meet the oaks of Dartmoor. We’ll gather in the Vennford Reservoir car park at 11am.
This day is offered in stages to suit a range of fitness levels, so feel free to come along for just the morning or the full day (until around 4pm or later).
The first part of the day will be a quiet stroll around the water, which is a level walk of about 45 mins. We’ll then move a short distance onto the moor and sit beside a stream for some celtic storytelling with a taste of oak lore and our communion, followed by sharing reflections and lunch.
For those who wish to continue into the afternoon, our silent pilgrimage will then lead us deeper into the oak woods and down to the River Dart for some sacred time with the trees and the water. It’s then a good, steady climb up onto Bench Tor with wonderful views over Dartmoor, before we head down to meet Sue Blagburn at Middle Stoke Farm, Holne for a concluding cuppa with her and the horses. There is then a shorter way to walk back to our cars.
Please come prepared with lots of warm and waterproof layers and sturdy footwear suitable for going off the beaten track. You might like to bring a waterproof mat or suchlike for sitting. If you are staying for lunch, please bring a picnic to share and make sure you have plenty to drink, especially if you intend to stay for the full day. Bear in mind that you may be carrying your pack for several hours and be prepared to ‘wee in the wild’ if need be! (Toilets at each end.) Each person is responsible for their own wellbeing on this moorland walk.
email Reverend Samantha Wernham or call 01803 86254107979 057169
facebook event page

Saturday 10th June from 12noon to 8pm
Vire Island, Totnes
A Celebration of Christian Life and Culture
You are invited to come along to this free event as a member of a local church, and bring as many people as you can!
• Speaker (pictured right): Bishop Nick McKinnel

Tuesday 13th June from 10.30am to 1pm’ish
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Toasted teacake, coffee, warm welcome – every Tuesday until September. Tables and chairs outside in the sunshine (inside seating also available). In support of the Friends of St Mary’s
• more information from Sandra Nicholson on 01626 330049

Saturday 17th June at 7.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Sam Richards
A selection of Sam’s piano pieces stimulated by the idea of music as landscape, including a brief talk about the idea of landscape.

Saturday June 17th at 7.30pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
Conducted by Trefor Farrow, The Collati Singers will sing Delius’ wordless Two Songs to be Sung of a Summer Night on the Water. The concert will also include unaccompanied arrangements of folk songs made for the King’s Singers and music by Ravel, Dowland and Whitacre.
admission is free (retiring donations invited for the church maintenance fund)
• for further information see their website
• see also their facebook page
download a printable A4 poster

Sunday 18th June at 6.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
with the Bishop of Plymouth, the Rt Reverend Nicholas McKinnel. Please come along and support the candidates from our church.
no 11.15am service at St Mary’s Church on this day

Tuesday 27th June from 10.30am to 1pm’ish
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Toasted teacake, coffee, warm welcome – every Tuesday until September. Tables and chairs outside in the sunshine (inside seating also available). In support of the Friends of St Mary’s
• more information from Sandra Nicholson on 01626 330049

Tuesday 27th June at 7.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Concert by the CHAPEL CHOIR of ROBINSON COLLEGE, Cambridge
A mixed-voice choir who sing services twice a week in the wonderful setting of Robinson College’s Chapel.
They also sing services on feast days and special occasions throughout the academic year. The Choir tours every year both abroad and in the UK. Previous tours have included Paris, Innsbruck and Southern Spain. ​
entry £5 plus a retiring collection
• download a printable poster

Saturday 1st July from 3pm to 5pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
A series of events, starting with a Tea Party, when older residents of Bridgetown will come and share their memories of Bridgetown generally and the church in particular, while enjoying tea and cake. Newer and younger residents may like to come along to hear about life in Bridgetown in the past.
everyone is welcome
• no tickets are needed, but there will be a bowl for donations

Tuesday 4th July from 10.30am to 1pm’ish
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Toasted teacake, coffee, warm welcome – every Tuesday until September. Tables and chairs outside in the sunshine (inside seating also available). In support of the Friends of St Mary’s
• more information from Sandra Nicholson on 01626 330049

NEW: Saturday 15th July at 7.30pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
Marldon Community Choir presents

A delightful mix of songs which will provide the perfect soundtrack to your summer.
tickets £8 (includes a glass of wine / soft drink, call Anne on 07703 066877
• all profits to Rowcroft Hospice

brentsingersSaturday 15th July at 7.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
• more details tba

PARISH NEWSLETTER – the June 2017 edition is now online

Parish News June 2017 – this month’s newsletter, compiled and designed by Julian Hall, features 20 pages full of news, articles and information. To receive the extended, full colour version in your inbox each month, please email Julian Hall.
Many thanks to the advertisers* in the latest edition!

This issue includes:

  • Choices – by Reverend Debbie Parsons
  • It’s Just A Thought – by the Reverend Cliff Berdinner
  • Focus On What Really Matters – another extract from UCB’s Word For Today booklet (available free in both churches), see also UCB’s website
  • Christians Urged To Vote At Election – Church of England / Devon
  • Exeter Diocesan News – various small articles
  • God Is Personal – former Army medic & vicar-in-training Kim Stanton
  • Our Churches Enrich Devon Life – Exeter Diocese
  • May Blossom Near Totnes Weir – local signs of Spring

To download in pdf format right-click HERE (ctrl+click Mac), or click on the thumbnail to read online.
*remember you can advertise in the newsletter – rates updated November 2016

Easter services, events updates & community news

stmarysseal1000pxHOLY WEEK & EASTER are approaching fast, and below (and on the Services page) is an at-a-glance list of services at St Mary’s and at St John’s.
This is an ‘extra’ news post, focussing on a variety of upcoming and newly-announced Community events. Please see the Events page for listings of upcoming entertainments and events further ahead.


Monday 10th April at 8.30am 
at St John’s Church, Bridgetown:

Wednesday 12th April at 10.30am 
at St Mary’s Church, Totnes:

Maundy Thursday at 8pm until midnight
at St Mary’s Church, Totnes:
with Meditation on the Servitude of Christ and Watch

Good Friday 
10am starting at St. John’s Church, Bridgetown:
(Churches Together in Totnes)
2pm at St Mary’s Church, Totnes:
Meditation before the Cross & Eucharist

Holy Saturday at 7.30pm 
at St Mary’s Church, Totnes:

Easter Day
8am at St Mary’s Church, Totnes:
9.30am at St. John’s Church, Bridgetown:
11.15am at St Mary’s Church, Totnes

Easter Sunday 16th April at 6.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
programme tba
• officiant The Rector
• read about St Mary’s Choir

COMMUNITY NEWS with Liz Waterson

quietdayforlentposterA Quiet Day for Lent
Wednesday 29th March
from 10am to 4pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
Led by Rev Debbie Parsons, Team Vicar & Richard Frost, Team Reader
• tea & coffee provided – please bring your own lunch
• book your place by telephoning 01803 865196 or email
• all are welcome
• download a printable poster

Caring Town Information Exchange
We’re delighted to announce that the Caring Town Information Exchange will be open from Monday 27th March.
The need for this service was identified as a priority when Caring Town first started back in 2014, to help ensure that local people know about the great range of services on offer here – so this is an idea that has turned into reality, with many thanks to everyone who has helped make this happen, including Totnes Town Council who is our main partner.
Located in the front right ground floor room at The Mansion, we will be open from 10.30am – 2.30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Closed Wednesdays and Sundays.
Our Connectors, Denise or Victoria will be on hand to help signpost local people to local health, care and well-being services, groups and activities. These include formal and informal providers of public, community and private sector services. Working with South Hams CVS, we’ll also be helping connect people with volunteering opportunities.
Please drop in and say hello, meet Victoria and Denise and make sure we have information about your services – ideally we need an A4 portrait poster and some of your leaflets or flyers if you haven’t already provided these.
This is a learning stage for us, and we welcome your participation and support as the Connectors get up to speed on all the local services, and as we find out more about who uses the Caring Town Information Exchange and what they want from it.
We are not having a big public launch at this stage – for now we are letting you (our network) know and will use some social media to slowly raise our profile. I have attached our flyer – please feel free to send this to your staff, clients and volunteers and help us get the word out next week. We can also provide you with some hard copies.
we’ll be having an opening morning just for our Caring Town network people and organisations, and will let you know that date within the next few weeks

Electoral Roll
A revision of the Electoral Roll will take place between 3rd April and 10th April. If your details have changed since last year or if you are a newcomer to the church and would like to be included on the register, please complete an application form and hand it to Douglas Mitchell (St Mary’s) or Anne Binns (St John’s) or a Church Warden by Monday, 10th April.

Annual Meeting
Wednesday 26th April
2017 at 7.30pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
Totnes with Bridgetown
(Eucharist at 7pm)
Please make every effort to attend this important meeting.
nomination papers available in both churches – please complete and return to Lynne Birch


First Aid Course
Wednesday 5th April
 9.30am to 3.30pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
For members of St Mary’s and St John’s Churches.
If you are able, a voluntary contribution towards the cost would be very much appreciated. We will confirm your place as soon as possible but please bear with us as, if we have a lot of interest, you will appreciate we will need to ensure an even spread of attendees from both churches.
• cost per person: £25
• please email Carolyn Stilwell or telephone 01803 863030

Beyond Borders Totnes & District
You are invited to a screening of
(French with English subtitles)
Thursday 6th April at 7pm
in Bogan House (opposite the Market Square in Totnes)
A moving feature film about a young, unaccompanied Kurdish asylum seeker from Iraq hoping to cross the channel at Calais – and a Frenchman becoming aware of his predicament.
Made in 2009, these issues are as alive today in more ways than one…as we digest the voting down of the Dubs amendment’s scheme for sanctuary for children seeking UK asylum…and as young asylum seekers return to Calais with the French authorities clamping down on humanitarian aid organisations offering them food.
open discussion after the film, all views welcome
• donations welcome for Luck of Birth
• download a printable A4 poster

Children’s Singing Workshop

STOP PRESS! Full details for this workshop and informal performance have now arrived.
Please support this wonderful event, made possible by the successful recent fundraiser at St Mary’s Church Hall.
No charge – children in Year 3 and above are welcome.

NEW: Saturday 11th March all day from 10am
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Informal performance at 2.15pm

Organised by Jan Dietz and led by Stephen Tanner
no charge for this event
• click to enlarge the poster for full details
to book a place call 01803 770515 or email Jan Dietz