St Peter's Church ⛪

St. Peter's, Rose Ash is one church in a group of eleven, The Edgemoor Group of Parishes.
St Peter's Church ⛪

The Edgemoor Group's website is at: https://www.edgemoorparishes.org.uk

The Churchwarden at Rose Ash is 

Mrs Caro Hammick (01769 550409)

Currently there are two services a month at St. Peter's, at 8.30 am on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of every month. 

Please be sure of a warm welcome whether you are a newcomer, an occasional visitor or a regular.  There is a Youth Group (10 - 16) called "Tabasco"  that meets in Bishops Nympton on the 2nd Wednesday of every month for supper, worship and Bible Study.  It comprises young people from across the group and new members and parents are welcome.

Special Event October 15th 2023

On October 15th, 2023, Andrew Jones will be giving a talk on the history of Rose Ash Church, Rose Ash and the surrounding area. This promises to be a fascinating evening and of interest to all in the area. There will be wine and nibbles available and the event will be free; however, donations will be gratefully accepted.

Church restoration projects

St Peter’s is a lovely example of a classic Devon church with a four-square tower. Dating from the 15th century, it was substantially rebuilt in the late 19th century, having been allowed to slide into a semi-ruinous state by the then Rectors of Rose Ash, the Southcomb family. In one comment, Rose Ash Church is described as being one of the worst examples of a neglected parish church, with parts of it having collapsed and become unusable as a result. 

The Southcombs redeemed themselves (and their reputation) by paying for a substantial amount of work that was carried out between 1888 and 1892. Unlike some other churches where the Victorian zeal for “correcting” the errors of the past resulted in rather heavy and somewhat boring interiors, the work at Rose Ash was sensitively carried out. 

The gables

By the end of the 20th century, the church was again in need of a bit of TLC. The result was a restoration project funded in part by the lottery, as well as local subscription.  Part of the project included replacing the coping-stones on the gables. Although the original stonework had been a Doulting limestone, an Orange Guiting limestone was used in the restoration work.  

Sadly, the Guiting started to fail badly after only some ten years, partly as a result of the way the stone was cut, and also the weather up here at Rose Ash. By 2015, the situation had deteriorated to the point that large chunks of stone were falling from the gables, together with bits of the concrete cladding that had been used as a temporary weatherproofing “fix”.  (This was somewhat disappointing as the predicted life of this sort of stone was supposed to be in the order of 300 – 400 years!)  

The time had come to either close the church, or face the costs of re-doing the gables. Initial inquiries confirmed we were unlikely to get any sensible help from the prime-contractor responsible for carrying out the recent restoration work, so we had to look at grants to help cover the costs.  To that end, we have applied to several charitable trusts and funds and are hoping for some positive news by the end of this year (2023). 

The bells

Rose Ash has a good peal of bells, most of which are now almost 300 years old. However, the mechanism used to support and ring the bells is now a bit worn out and, by some accounts, at the end of its life. In addition, the bells should be turned so that the clappers do not wear a hole in the side of the bells themselves!   

All this means we will have to remove the bells, and then replace much of the structure and mechanism in the bell chamber, although the oak-frame, made by Harry Stokes of Woodbury back in the 19th century, will be retained – albeit with steel strengthening.  

 Once again, this project has to be paid for by some means, and we are putting together appeals and applications for grants from local and national trusts.   

Local support

In most cases, grants of funds are made more likely if we can show local support for the fundraising. Assessors of applications will inquire how we are doing in this respect, and so we need to ask anyone who reads this if they would be able to support our church.  

 The choice is very simple. We either work together to save this bit of Devon history, or we pass by and let it go. We believe that the overwhelming majority of people still value local churches very highly and would want to do whatever they can to help.  

 Please do get in contact with us if you would like to help. This might be in the form of a contribution, or offering to run an event to raise funds. No contribution is too small!  

 You can contact Caro Hammick, the Churchwarden, on 01769 550409.