Site Updated June 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.



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



 June 2020

From the Curate's Study - Trinity Sunday 


Hello my friends,

I hope you are all well and that your gardens are benefitting from the few drops of rain we have had, I am convinced that when 'lock down' is truly over we should have a huge open garden event. Given the time folks seem to be spending in them, by now many will be of RHS quality, although sometimes it feels like that maybe nearer Christmas than high summer.

I would firstly like to thank you all for your patience in these trying times, I had hoped by now to be able to give you the good news that our churches might soon open for private prayer at least but it seems those negotiations are still ongoing. Rest assured, as soon as I hear anything I will pass on the news.

Our work in serving our communities goes on. We are currently supporting a number of families with food and essentials throughout our parishes and the outpouring of generosity and service has been amazing, thank you all. The Rogation walk appears to have been a huge success and there have been requests to run it again next year. I intend to leave the prayers up for perhaps another week as I think some folks are still intent on giving one of the walks a go.

In several of our churches we have recently introduced a prayer box, the idea being that those who might like a prayer can post their requests in the box and members of our church community can then pray for them. It is a really positive way to serve our local community, particularly in these confusing times when our churches are shut. Ideally we would like to form an informal group who might like to commit to pray for those who tell us they are in need. If you are interested, please email me so we can add you to the list.

This week has seen some really disturbing news on our tv screens about events from America which have deeply moved people across the world. I refer to the death of George Floyd in America in the incident involving police officers, which has seen one officer charged with murder and several others also charged with other offences. Tensions are understandably running high over what many people see to be an ongoing issue of racism in both the USA and further afield. This week's sermon in our Sunday service attempts to take a Christian view on these events and the broader issue of racism; it is only right to forewarn you it contains some disturbing descriptions of the events and some quite hard-hitting reflection. It is probably not suitable for young children and some people will find it challenging. I would encourage you to contact me directly if you wish to discuss it. Due to an editing issue the lyrics of the first hymn are not on the screen but are in the description box under the screen as are the words of the Creed we will use today as it is Trinity Sunday.

Here is the service:

Ironically but with no forward planning, this week's Wondering Wednesday is the final in a three-part series on the Problem of Evil and Suffering:

This week's Kid's Club is about healing:

God bless.


Rev Marc Kerslake
Assistant Curate.
Churches4All Mission Community.
Whimple, Talaton, Clyst Hydon, Clyst St Lawrence.




A Letter from the Rev Marc Kerslake Assistant Curate Churches4All

June 2020

Dear friends


Is the nation turning to God in prayer? Well, not quite yet, but research from Tearfund has shown that prayer is more common than many would think, with just under half (44%) of UK adults saying that they pray and one in twenty (5%) saying they have started praying during the lockdown. Daily data from Google for 95 countries corroborates this increased interest, as searches for prayer are at their highest levels ever recorded.

In addition, a quarter (24%) of UK adults say they have watched or listened to a religious service since lockdown, 5% of whom say they have never been to church before. Some churches are seeing double, sometimes triple, the number of people watching their Sunday meetings online that would normally attend in person.

Tearfund released this research (which received a huge amount of media coverage) on the same day that The UK Blessing was unleashed over the country. That was completely coincidental but it felt an extraordinary day when matters of prayer and faith were talked about across both traditional and social media channels.

I am struck by Augustine’s prayer, ‘You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you’. Could it be that as the noise and busyness of normal life have subsided, restlessness has started to surface and, faced with new fears and uncertainties, hearts have started to turn to God?

I find this research encouraging because it is my experience that prayer and practical action go hand in hand in responding to any crisis. We have seen a wonderful outpouring of practical action in our society and I believe we need an accompanying movement of prayer.

The research tells us that people are inevitably and understandably praying most for family and friends, and Tearfund is calling people to broaden that out to pray for both our global and local neighbours, and for our government as it makes key decisions around how to simulate the economy. It is crucial that we use this opportunity to reboot our economy along lines that are climate resilient and socially fair.

So let this research give you a new courage to offer to pray for people you know who are struggling, or invite them to watch an online service. And let’s also turn our prayers and actions beyond our immediate horizons to remember that we are part of a global community.

Dr. Ruth Valerio is Global Advocacy and Influencing Director at Tearfund. Tearfund has recently launched a resource called The World Rebooted to help church leaders and their congregations explore how they can help positively .

Don’t forget you can find our online services on YouTube


Previous Messages.....

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 unravelling - 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.


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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