Reports presented at the annual church meeting of St Mary’s Hemyock with Culm Davy Chapel showed them to be lively forward looking communities. The buildings including the Church Room are in good repair and the interior of St Mary’s is to be redecorated during the summer months. Architect plans for possible alterations at the church had been on display and following an open parish meeting Church Council will be considering the way forward. Friends of St Mary’s had enjoyed a tremendous fundraising year and thanks were given to villagers for their support. One of the highlights had been a 3 day Festival of Trees at the church involving local organisations decorating trees in the lead up to Christmas. The Friends had made a £500 donation towards the repair of the church clock and bought a keyboard for use by the 20 strong choir.
The Blackdown Mother’s Union had celebrated their first full year of activities.Their work had supported the East Devon Women’s Refuge, a literacy project in Africa and the knitting of blankets and premature baby clothes for Musgrove Park Hospital.
St Mary’s Guild, the church choir, Tuesday Group, work with children and support for work in Uganda had all enjoyed a successful years. A Deanery Synod report along with a Diocesan Area Conference report were also presented.
The financial report showed that St Mary’s held just under £23,000 in the bank with the Chapel having £14,661 and Friends just over £6,000. A loss of £610 due mainly to increased printing costs had been made on the Parish Pump magazine which is delivered freely to all houses in Hemyock and Clayhidon. To reflect this advertising costs had been increased and the invitation to parishoners to make an annual donation will continue.
Rev David Sherwood in thanking everyone for their prayers and support said it had been an encouraging year. The church was now working towards the possibility of becoming a Mission Community and discussions were now going ahead within the Benefice.