Site Updated May 18th 2020

Welcome to the church of St James the Great,



To know Christ and to make Him known

Services Events Charities Bells  ClockRestoration




We hope you will enjoy the information in this website please come and see the church for yourself. It is open every day during daylight hours.

Information on services and the building itself can be found below.


Talaton is one of four churches in the Benefice - known as Churches 4 All. Whimple (see bottom of page for a link to their website) Clyst Hydon and Clyst St Lawrence being the other three churches.





We do not have a priest at the moment and will update the site when we have more news.  In the meantime, Charlie Hutchings will redirect any queries.


whilst our Assistant Curate is

The Reverend Marc Kerslake 01404 822 104 Email:


Mr Charlie Hutchings 01404 822 205 Email:

Bell Tower Captain

Mr Chris Trimmer 01404 850 831

Sunday services

The monthly pattern of services each month is as follows:

1st Sunday

9.30am Holy Communion - see note below, followed by coffee

2nd Sunday

9.30am Morning Worship - followed by coffee

3rd Sunday

11am Holy Communion (Common Worship)

4th Sunday

Evening Prayer (Book of Common Prayer) See below for times

5th Sunday

Joint Mission Community service at 10:30am – see The Link magazine or Talaton Calendar for details

The first Sunday of the month alternates between Common Worship (CW) Holy Communion and Book of Common Prayer (BCP) Holy Communion. This pattern starts with Common Worship in January.

Evening services start at 6:00pm (from 26th April 2020 - no March evening service) and at 4:00pm (from 25th October 2020).

Every Tuesday morning from 9.00 to 9.30am Marc Kerslake in the church for a short time of prayer and you would be very welcome to join him.

On the second Wednesday of each month there is a service called 'Sacred Space' at Whimple church at 9.15am for about thirty minutes - a time for quietness, prayer and a reflection on a scripture reading.

Directions to St James the Great

The entrance to the church car park is off the main village street by the grey telephone box.
The postcode for SatNav users is EX5 2RL




 A Ray of Light During the Virus Lock down 2020?




 Easter Colours at the Altar


Latest Letter from the Rev Marc Kerslake Assistant Curate Churches4All

May 17 th 2020 

Hello my friends,

It doesn't seem possible but another week has flown past. I hope this week's easing of the 'lockdown' has given you the opportunity to be a little more adventurous: Angie, doggo and I spent an amazing day rambling around the Blackdown Hills about 40 minutes from home. Despite covering around twelve miles on green lanes, footpaths and very narrow lanes we only saw 4 cars, it was almost as though we had entered some sort of time warp. One of the great blessings of this crisis is a return to a quieter time and I quite like that, plus the abundance of wildlife, particularly insects is astonishing. In previous weeks we have walked pretty much ever foot of the lanes around our four parishes and it has been an incredible experience, I now feel I truly know them. I always feel that you only really know a place if you walk through it - you can live in an area for years, for example but if you just arrive home or leave by car you miss so much, by exploring it on foot you get a feel for a place and the slower pace allows you to really 'see' its character.

This coming week we see the arrival of the church's 'Rogation Days'. This ancient tradition, probably poached from earlier pagan practices, was first brought to Britain over twelve hundred years ago, when the parish priest would lead a group of the congregation around the parish stopping to pray for crops, farms and fields in the coming season. The word rogation coming from the Latin to 'ask'. The procession would also stop for food and beer on its journey. Many people now think of this as a version of 'beating the bounds' whereby parish boundaries were marked out to avoid dispute and this was also part of the rogation walk tradition long before proper maps or gps.

We have always celebrated this in some of our parishes in one form or another and this year it seems like it is even more of a necessity given the season we find ourselves in. So we have planned a series of walks around the parishes, one short and one slightly longer one around Whimple plus one which travels through all four parishes, which you can do a section of or the entire loop if you are feeling brave. Dotted around all the walks are a series of 'prayer stations', laminated cards with a Bible verse and a short prayer. All the details are included on the attachment with this email, copies of which are also at each of our churches along with a sheet at each that you can sign in on, if you wish. If you are feeling particularly daring you could consider getting yourself sponsored for the whole walk and doing it as a family, although no matter what you decide we ask that you adhere to the current government guidance on social distancing etc.

The short Whimple walk is around 2.5 miles, the longer Whimple walk is around 4.25 miles and the parish walk roughly 9.5 miles, but you can mix and match whichever bits you like or do them over several days if you wish. The idea is not to rush, to 'see' the amazing place we live in and take time to really consider our prayers.

I know that not all of you will be able to take part in the walk for a number of reasons, but you might like as an alternative to choose a village or place you know and pray for that or even construct a mental virtual walk and pray you way round it.

On the subject of prayer, this week's Wondering Wednesday was all about 'Does God always answer prayers and, if not, why bother praying'?'
Here is this week's link:

Our Kid's Club was all about Jesus asking Peter to 'feed his sheep'. As usual the Knock Knock joke man was back and this week Angie was painting pebbles, look out for them appearing around the villages. Here is the link:

And we continued our journey through the Easter Season with today's Sunday service, giving some thought to who exactly is the Holy Spirit? Link here:


 Previously ...........

 May 2020

Hello my friends,

As I sit and write this it is around ten o'clock on Saturday evening, I am waiting for No1 son to finish uploading the Sunday service to the YouTube channel so I can send the link to Gerri (one of our trusty churchwardens), who then does the hard work of sending it on to all of you. Saturday is almost over and after I send this I shall head to bed. Generally, I am not someone who is a 'night owl', in fact on many nights I am in bed before ten, I like to be in bed early and up early. At this time of the evening I start to get a sense that today is out of my hands now no matter what it has held, good or bad, and my opportunities tomorrow remain a world of possibilities. On many evenings in this strange season I am tempted to feel I have not achieved a great deal, many days are spent feeling frustrated and I long for some degree of normality.

In the epic book 'The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien the world is being ravaged by a terrible menace and the hero, Frodo, confides in the wise wizard Gandalf.
"I wish it need not have happened in my time," he says and on those difficult days I know exactly how he feels.
But Gandalf replies "So do I and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."

In other words, sometimes we simply cannot change the situation we find ourselves in and all we can do is decide what we will do now and tomorrow. That is where we all are right now. Here we are in this crisis, we didn't ask for it but then few people in history have ever had the choice to endure whatever hardships they find themselves in, these things just come along and we must make the best of them, one day at a time. Then when this crisis is over of course there will be enquiries, questions, accusations and probably recriminations. Of course it is right that we learn from all that has happened, but still actually our only real choice is what we do with the time that is given to us, from then on. It is the same choice we all have every minute of the day, be they good times or bad.

I often tell my boys that we each have a choice which can be the central purpose of our lives, it can shape our minutes, our hours, our days, even our lives: Will I, tiny bit by tiny bit, try and make a difference? When I leave this world will it be a slightly better place because of my presence than when I came into it? You see, all of us, just like Frodo, are central characters in life's great saga; our actions, like ripples in a pond, spread out from us to affect countless others and actually it is a cause for optimism and great hope, because when the seconds that are the present slip into history, what lies ahead remains ours to change and that happens over and over and over again. Chance after chance to be different, to act differently. It's a choice we have in the midst of this crisis and an even more important choice we will have again as we start to come out of it. What a privilege to have!

Although you may be 'trapped' at home that doesn't change the choice you have: a kind word to someone you love even if you feel frustrated, a smile out the window at the postie, a kind word to a neighbour or a telephone call to a friend or colleague, is you making a difference. And, when this is over, a bigger test: will we just go back to the way things were? Or will we hold on to the feeling of unity we have rediscovered, will we continue with the energy of this new community spirit, will we continue to value the health care workers, the binmen, the delivery drivers and shop workers who kept this country going. What will we choose to do and be from here on?

God bless you my friends

Here is our Sunday service.


 April 2020

An Important Message from Rev Marc Kerslake

My Dear Friends,

I write to you in the midst of a crisis, because, let's be honest, that is what it is.

As our prime minister pointed out this is the worst health threat in a generation, none of us have experienced anything like this before. In a very real sense we are off the map. This virus poses a real danger to many of the most vulnerable people in our country and many other countries. New updates from local and national government and in our case the Church of England are coming out so fast it is hard to keep track of what is going on and how one should react, but it seems certain that things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.

Families are going to lose loved ones to this pandemic; an event that has been predicted for decades has arrived and, it seems, we are not prepared. We cannot change where we find ourselves, but we can change what happens from now on.

For many of you it may seem as though much of the Mission Community is unraveling - our Lent Course cancelled, sharing of the peace stopped and taking of the Common Cup stopped and it seems clear this is just the beginning. This can all feel really destabilising - tradition and ritual play a huge part of our faith lives and have done for centuries, when things like this happen it can really add to the anxiety and fear in our communities. Please know that your Churchwardens, PCCs and I are in regular contact and the welfare of the most vulnerable members of our congregations and communities is uppermost in our minds. Please be patient when we make decisions about events and services - we are operating on a day by day basis with the information and advice we have.

However, as the situation develops, consider this - things like services and meetings are important but they are not the most important business we have. They are church business, we are part of something bigger! We are on God's business! Even if all services are cancelled, God's business goes on, and is more important than ever. We don't stop being Christians just because the business of the Church has been disrupted. God's love for us and his world has not diminished. Crises have happened before and they will happen again and history shows us when crises occur we Christians dig in for the real work. We will need to pray like we have probably never prayed before and will need to serve our communities in new and creative ways.

So what can we do? To be honest, I can't give you an exact idea of how things are going to play out in the coming weeks and months, but here are a few of my thoughts: This virus reminds us of our shared humanity with all of God's people, it doesn't respect national boundaries, skin colour, gender, sexuality, class or religion. We truly are all in this together.
It also reminds us we are not immortal, life is a fragile and wonderful gift we should not take for granted and, we are not all powerful, this tiny organism is wreaking havoc around the globe and for all our ingenuity and science, at the moment at least, we seem powerless to stop it.

People will of course be asking 'where is God in this disaster?' It is an absolutely valid question.

Well, we his Church are his eyes and ears and hands and feet. He is right here with us doing his work.

For now we can start small in our own communities, ring our elderly neighbours regularly to make sure they are ok, help out that family whose breadwinner will have to work extra hours due to staff shortages, collect provisions for someone who has had to self-isolate, find creative ways to help the self-employed in our community who face financial hardships. Give what we have to spare and sometimes that which we do not. Do not give in to fear.

We can be a face of love and compassion and hope.

Eventually some sort of normal service will resume, it is not clear now how long that will take, but the disease will reduce, in all likelihood a vaccine will be developed and life will start to look more like it used to. The challenge will then be to not forget what we felt like right now!

If we hold on to this feeling and channel it when this is over we can vow to change the world. What if this event became known in history as the year the human race woke up? What if this event helped us understand what it felt like to be frightened and helpless in the face of something we cannot control, an experience so many millions around the globe live with most of their lives - and we vowed to make it stop, not just here but everywhere. Around the globe, every day, thousands die from diseases and conditions for which cheap and simple cures exist and much of the world turns a blind eye because it is happening somewhere else. Well not today. Today, we are all vulnerable to this pandemic.

Do not feel embarrassed to admit you are afraid and ask for help. I will keep you updated with any news or advice I receive from the Diocese as things continue to change. Use the Churches4All website as a source of information also and, although things seem uncertain, know that God holds each one of you in the palm of his hand.

Love and blessings


Rev Marc Kerslake
Assistant Curate.
Churches4All Mission Community.

17th March 2020

This was announced by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. 

'Church services across Devon are to be suspended but church buildings are to remain very much open for prayer and reflection to reflect the Government's coronavirus guidance.

The Church of England's Public Health Advisor, the Reverend Doctor Brendan McCarthy said: "This isn't about shutting up shop for the church.

"We want to keep the prayer life of the country as active as possible at this time."

Crucial events like funerals will still go ahead but with as few people present as possible.

Prayer gatherings can still happen in churches as long as people observe the hygiene precautions and a keep a distance of two metres from others.

The Church of England is due to publish guidance as soon as possible about other key events in the church calendar, like weddings, baptisms and church meetings'


We will update the site when we have more news about services. 


Talaton Toddlers -  there will be no Parents and Babies Get Together in the Church North Aisle Room until further notice.

 St James the Great, Talaton

The Clock - A Little History 


The church at Talaton is a very fine church, outstanding even in an area of the country graced with many other beautiful churches!
For nearly a thousand years there has been a place of Christian worship at this site, and it is fairly certain that a small Norman church stood here in the 12th century, and its late Norman font still stands in the current church, much of which dates from the 15th century, replacing a smaller, simpler church.
The clock is mounted on the first level of the tower, which itself is recognised as one of the finest in the whole of England. This room contains not one but two clock movements. The older, disused one, is still in its original position against the back wall, and it never had a face, as it was dependent on chimes to announce the time. It was made by Francis Pile of Honiton, at a cost of £12 in 1752, when it was first housed in the tower.
It was replaced in 1925 by the current clock, which had previously been purchased and restored by a Mr Hall of Exeter, and at some stage installed on the stable block at Halton House, in Dunchideock. Mr Hall had been asked to repair the old Talaton clock, but he declared it to be worn out, and beyond restoration. He offered the Halton clock for £45 as a replacement, and it was duly installed! At its dedication, part of the oration read: “I hereby declare the clock to be started on its task of numbering the fleeting hours. May they pass in peace and prosperity to the well being of this parish”.
In 1996 repairs were carried out to the clock, and at that time it was converted to auto winding.
Since then, the clock has served the parish well, but natural wear and tear, aggravated by its exposed position, has brought about the need for a major overhaul and refurbishment, carried out by Cumbria Clocks, one of the leading clock specialists in the country. The movement has been dismantled and fully refurbished, and then reunited with the clock face and hands, which themselves have been beautifully regilded. Automatic time keeping will be added once the movement has settled into its new lease of life!

Written by Rick Spencer, Fabric Officer, with thanks to Lucy Channon for the extracts from her publication: A Short History of Talaton Parish Church.

  A Pictorial record of the 2019 Overhaul




                                                      No scaffolding - just ropes and nerve !




               The men on the ropes                                      Precious hands  in safe hands with Luke of Cumbria Clocks






 Down with the Old Face



           Regilded at Cumbria Clocks



  Safely Back in Place


 What makes it Tick ?






And finally, a bit of history...........



 The Old Faceless Clock, in place but silent.





Talaton Summer


Wonderful !


 See More Pictures on the Noticeboard Page




And A Great Event just gone........ 

Talaton Open Gardens 2018


 op gard18






 og18                                           og18                                     














 The Churchyard Tidy Up 2018


churchyard clean 2018


“The Annual Talaton Church Graveyard Tidy Up”


Saturday the 17th March saw 13 hardy villagers respond to the invitation in the Calendar, or to a reminder nudge, to brave the bitter east wind, and occasional snow flurries, to spend a couple of hours helping to keep our church looking at its best. The result is spectacular, with the grass being cut for the first time this year, and the paths and borders freshly edged, continuing the work started last year. It was hard work, but all done in good spirit, and Jo Spencer’s refreshments, including almond slices and banana cake, were a just reward half way through.

As mentioned previously, we are creating an area on the east side of the church which will not be cut during summer months, but will encourage the growth of natural meadow flowers.

Additionally, we are planning to resurface the car park and all the paths this spring, which will really add the finishing touches.

The church is something we all love and appreciate, even though we may not visit it often. Do please take a walk down and admire what’s been achieved on Saturday, and let us know if there is something more you would like to see done. The front door is open every day during daylight hours, so feel free to venture in, and enjoy the beauty of this very old building.

From left to right in the photo, this years volunteers were:

Dave Wright, Chris Harwood, Jenny Pring, Gordon Pring, Andrea Down, Tom Samson, Rick Spencer, Andy May, Jan May, Terry Wright, Bob Abraham, Sue Harwood and Pam Weston. Jo Spencer kept us refreshed and took the photo, Buddy the black lab kept us entertained, and repeatedly stole Chris’s gardening glove, and Lee French wanted to help out again but had to go to work!

Our thanks to all of them.



   Charities Supported By Talaton Church

In 2017 the Parochial Church Council supported these charities:-

  • Tear Fund £400
    Children’s Society £200
    Cancer UK £200
    Feniton School £200
    OSM help scheme £200
    Devon Freewheelers £200
    Silver Line £200
    Alzheimers £200
    Shelterbox - £400



 Open Gardens 2017

In Aid of the Talaton Church











 Annual Churchyard Clean Up


 You will notice a few more faces this year ----still more would be welcome .





The Get Together for Parents and Young Toddlers


 "The Wheels of the Church go Round and Round, every first and third Friday in the Month" . The Reverend Chris Martin on his guitar is accompanied by Becky Springall on her viola while singing to the young children in the north Aisle Room in the Church while parents have a Get Together from 10.30 until 12 noon on some Fridays of the month.


Mothers and kids


mums and kids
mums and kids
mums and kids
mums and kids


 The Bells

At the western end of the nave a modern oak screen closes off the base of the Tower. This screen was erected in 1983 in memory of Mr and Mrs Hayden, who made a generous bequest to the church.  It has proved most effective in reducing draughts.  Behind this screen hang the bell ropes.  Talaton is fortunate in having a good team of bell ringers to ring a peal of six bells.  Two of these, the 4th and the Tenor are by far the oldest.  The 4th was cast by the Exeter foundry during the 15th century and the Tenor in the mid 16th century by Roger Semson of Ash Priors, Taunton.  The Tenor bell bears the arms and inscription of Johanne de Beauchamp, Countess of Warwick, who had died in 1435.  Her husband owned the manor of Larkbeare in the Parish of Talaton.  These two bells are listed for preservation.  The 5th was recast in 1751 by Thomas Bilbie of Cullompton at the cost of £15.2s.7d.  Forty years later the 3rd bell was recast by Thomas Bilbie’s grandson in 1792.  To bring the peal up to six the Treble was added in 1891, cast by Warners of Cripplegate.  Finally an earlier bell, the 2nd, dating from 1661, was recast in 1923 by Gillett and Johnson. They are all in sound condition and ring out regularly. 

We are currently looking for more ringers - Call Chris Trimmer , Tower Captain, on 01404 850831 or  Peppi Shaw on 01404 822 482 if you are interested

Pictorial Record of the 2013 Bell Restoration

Photographs by Harry Channon 









Altar Bell Bell




Restoration work

This is an on-going task in any beautiful building.  A lot of hard work and money go into keeping the church in good order and sound condition for future generations to enjoy.  Nearly all the money is raised locally and it is down to people’s generosity that these projects have been completed.  In addition, charitable organisations have generously assisted in the fundraising and are mentioned on this page.

To give some examples of the work carried out over the last few years:
Restoration of the hatchments in the bell tower, Repairs to lead valley on roof (with help from Devon Historic Churches Trust), Refurbishment of organ (with help from The Landfill Trust), Window repairs, Stonework repairs, Electrical work

Link to Churches 4 All Website

This link showcases some of Devon's lovely churches: 

Exeter Diocese (Diocesan House, Palace Gate, Exeter, Devon EX1 1HX)  Tel: 01392 272 686
For further details about this page, please e-mail:





The Parochial Church Council (PCC) of St James the Great, Talaton

1. Your personal data – what is it?

Personal data relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data. Identification can be by the information alone or in conjunction with any other information in the data controller’s possession or likely to come into such possession. The processing of personal data is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”).

2. Who are we?

The PCC of St James the Great, Talaton is the data controller (contact details below). This means it decides how your personal data is processed and for what purposes.

3. How do we process your personal data?

The PCC of St James the Great, Talaton complies with its obligations under the “GDPR” by keeping personal data up to date; by storing and destroying it securely; by not collecting or retaining excessive amounts of data; by protecting personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access and disclosure and by ensuring that appropriate technical measures are in place to protect personal data.

We use your personal data for the following purposes: -

· To enable us to provide a voluntary service for the benefit of the public in a particular geographical area as specified in our constitution;

· To administer membership records;

· To fundraise and promote the interests of the charity;

· To manage our employees and volunteers;

· To maintain our own accounts and records (including the processing of gift aid applications).                                         To inform you of news, events, activities and services running at St James the Great;  

  To share your contact details with the Diocesan office so they can keep you informed about news in the diocese and events, activities and services that will be occurring in the diocese and in which you may be interested.

4. What is the legal basis for processing your personal data?

· Explicit consent of the data subject so that we can keep you informed about news, events, activities and services and process your gift aid donations and keep you informed about diocesan events.

· Processing is necessary for carrying out obligations under employment, social security or social protection law, or a collective agreement;

· Processing is carried out by a not-for-profit body with a political, philosophical, religious or trade union aim provided: -

o the processing relates only to members or former members (or those who have regular contact with it in connection with those purposes); and

o there is no disclosure to a third party without consent.

5. Sharing your personal data
Your personal data will be treated as strictly confidential and will only be shared with other members of the church in order to carry out a service to other church members or for purposes connected with the church. We will only share your data with third parties outside of the parish with your consent.

6. How long do we keep your personal data[1]?
We keep data in accordance with the guidance set out in the guide “Keep or Bin: Care of Your Parish Records” which is available from the Church of England website [see footnote for link].

Specifically, we retain electoral roll data while it is still current; gift aid declarations and associated paperwork for up to 6 years after the calendar year to which they relate; and parish registers (baptisms, marriages, funerals) permanently.

7. Your rights and your personal data

Unless subject to an exemption under the GDPR, you have the following rights with respect to your personal data: -

· The right to request a copy of your personal data which the PCC of St James the Great, Talaton holds about you;

· The right to request that the PCC of St James the Great, Talaton corrects any personal data if it is found to be inaccurate or out of date;

· The right to request your personal data is erased where it is no longer necessary for the PCC of St James the Great, Talaton to retain such data;

· The right to withdraw your consent to the processing at any time

· The right to request that the data controller provide the data subject with his/her personal data and where possible, to transmit that data directly to another data controller, (known as the right to data portability), (where applicable) [Only applies where the processing is based on consent or is necessary for the performance of a contract with the data subject and in either case the data controller processes the data by automated means].

· The right, where there is a dispute in relation to the accuracy or processing of your personal data, to request a restriction is placed on further processing;

· The right to object to the processing of personal data, (where applicable) [Only applies where processing is based on legitimate interests (or the performance of a task in the public interest/exercise of official authority); direct marketing and processing for the purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics]

· The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office.

8. Further processing

If we wish to use your personal data for a new purpose, not covered by this Data Protection Notice, then we will provide you with a new notice explaining this new use prior to commencing the processing and setting out the relevant purposes and processing conditions. Where and whenever necessary, we will seek your prior consent to the new processing.

9. Contact Details

To exercise all relevant rights, queries of complaints please in the first instance contact the Parish Administrator at

You can contact the Information Commissioners Office on 0303 123 1113 or via email or at the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF.

[1] Details about retention periods can currently be found in the Record Management Guides located on the Church of England website at: -

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