Friends of Chulmleigh Parish Church

The object of the Friends is to promote and provide financial assistance for the repair, improvement and ornamentation of the fabric of the church of St. Mary Magdalene for the benefit of the whole community.

This fine, stone built church, with its slate roof and 80ft. tower, dominates the town (a “town” charter was granted by Henry 111, dated 1253).  It is a clear reminder of the prosperous days of the late medieval woollen industry in the area, which probably enabled the foundation of the church somewhere between 1300 and 1400AD.

Set in the heart of the rural and agricultural countryside on the edge of North Devon, Chulmleigh has been affected by the changing fortunes and upheavals that have influenced farming through the centuries.  Originally an important staging post  on the old hilltop road from Exeter to Barnstaple, it was bypassed in the 19th century by the construction of a new road and railway in the valley below the town

The church is surrounded by a large and well maintained graveyard (now closed for burials), the western end of which was at one time considered a Community Wildlife Garden.  Across the road on the south side is another large churchyard, currently in use, which occupies a sloping site with beautiful views down into the valley of the Little Dart River and to Dartmoor in the distance.

As at 5th April 2014 the Trust has raised in excess of £43,000 for the maintenance of St. Mary Magdalene, since its formation in 2004.  This is from membership, donations, grants and coffee mornings.

The cost of maintaining this wonderful historic building rises by the year and can be expected to continue to do so.  Since its founding in 2004 the Trust has been able to fund a number of minor and major repairs, some of which are listed below.  Currently (autumn2014) the church is considering major roof repairs.

We continually seek new members of the Friends, or people willing to make a donation to this cause – particularly those who have been baptised, confirmed or married in the church, or have other family connections with the church or town.

The Trust’s expenses are minimal as all the Trustees are volunteers.

In 2014 we received a substantial legacy from the estate of the late Dennis Stanbury, for which we are most grateful. Dennis grew up in Chulmleigh and although living overseas in later years, he maintained his connections with his roots and visited Chulmleigh from time to time.

        Trustees as at October 2019

-          Colin Burls, Chairperson 01769 580137, The Old Bakehouse, South Molton Street, Chulmleigh, EX18 7BW

-         Kevin Avery, Treasurer 01769 580114, 30 Fourways Drive, Chulmleigh, EX18 7AZ    

-         Karen Povey, Secretary 01769 581475, 27 Kings Park, Chulmleigh, EX18 7DJ

-     PCC Representative - vacant

-         Sylvia Croucher

-         Margaret Jury

-    Marion Mair

-    Reverend Tony Rockey

Committee Member

-    Paul Holmes

Any of the above would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the work of The Friends

Privacy Statement (General Data Protection Regulation)
The only details/information we keep about you is that provided by you when you complete a Subscription Form or One off Donation Form, these details may be kept in digital and paper format.  Your details will only be used to communicate with you and to inform the H.M.R.C. if you have gift aided your subscription/donation.  We will not share your information with any other organisation or person.

           Please consider supporting our work either by:

BECOMING A MEMBER - paying your subscription either by cheque/cash annually or by Standing Order. Click on the Becoming a Member link to download the Gift Aid form which enables us to reclaim tax on your subscription at no extra cost to you if you are a UK taxpayer OR.

 MAKING A ONE OFF DONATION again the Gift aid form can be used.

In either case cheques should be made payable to Friends of Chulmleigh Parish Church and sent to the Treasurer – Lesley Drew,  Ashton View, Rose Ash, South Molton, EX36 4RA, Tel: 01769 550868


ADDING A CODICIL TO YOUR WILL leaving a lump sum to The Friends. A form to facilitate this is available, click on the Adding a Codicil to your will, which should be completed, signed and sent to your Solicitor.

You can be assured that your contribution will be used entirely for the benefit of the Church  - all our Trustees are unpaid Volunteers and overheads are absolutely minimal.

Minutes of Meetings






            Project  Contributions to Date

-          South Porch

-          Window repairs

-          Clock Automation and regilding

-          Pinnacles and weathervanes

-          Quinquennial Inspection Phase 1 - August 2014 - £3000 for floor repairs at the west end (to appear in the 2014/15 accounts). 

-          Annual expenses covered by The Friends include an Honorarium to the Clock Custodian, Maintenance of our own Web site and the essential twice yearly inspection of the roof and clearance of gutters.


                          Lych-gate renovated with funds from the Stanbury legacy      

South side of Lych-gate - some of the trustees with Marion Stanbury


 North side of Lych-gate