West Down

St Calixtus Church West Down

The 13th century church of St Calixtus stands in the centre of the village. It is surrounded by residential buildings, some of which are used as holiday lets during the summer months. The village has a primary school, community run shop, pub and village hall. The population is over 600 with a number of farms, people who commute to the local town, retired people and an increasing number of young families.

The congregation of West Down church is small (average 12) with the majority of retirement age. There is a church run Mums and Toddlers group (about 10 children). We run a nativity around the village (100 people) and have tried an Easter and Harvest Messy church (45 people). The school holds harvest and Christmas services in the church and a member of the Mission Community ministry team leads a school assembly once a month.

The Church contains a large amount of 14thcentury work and is of more than usual interest.

The plan is cruciform which is typical for churches of this age. The structure is substantially 14th century in origin - with later modifications.

The list of past serving vicars dates back to 1272 and the registers - now in the North Devon Records Office in Barnstaple - date back to 1583

The font, made of stone, was found under the floor during a restoration and is undoubtedly Norman.

A tablet on the outside of the south chancel wall states that it was rebuilt in 1675. It bears the names of John Berry, Oliver Peard, John Roberts, John Penrose and Robert Penrose.

We have a small, recently refurbished church room which is used by Mums and Toddlers, a weekly Bible study group and is hired occasionally.

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