Clergy Blogs

Periodic contributions from Revd. Giles King-Smith, Vicar of the three coastal parishes. We also continue to show contributions from the late Associate Minister Revd. Linda Walters

News from the three Coastal Parishes of  Lee, Mortehoe and Woolacombe

News and Events

Our worship

All our churches are open for worship, and we look forward to welcoming you.

Covid Guidance, updated on 03.02.22: In line with guidance from the Government and the Church of England, wearing face coverings is no longer mandatory in our church services. However, in view of the importance of protecting others, you are welcome to continue wearing them if you wish. The use of hand sanitisers remains optional - please continue to use them, if you wish, on entering the church and before receiving Communion. Please continue to use caution and common sense in keeping social distance from one another - especially if you are not wearing a face covering - in order to protect those who may be, or may feel, vulnerable. From Sunday February 13th we will be offering Holy Communion in both kinds in all our churches. However, if you would rather receive Communion in one kind (bread only), you are of course welcome to do so. Please note that intinction (dipping bread in wine) is not an option for reasons of hygiene. 


A letter about the new pattern of services

To our congregations in Lee, Mortehoe and Woolacombe

Some of you will be aware that our 3 PCCs have recently been discussing the need to make changes to our regular pattern of services. Specifically, we are aiming to create a pattern that is sustainable for one part-time priest (my successor). Of course, we hope that Ann will be with us for many years to come, but we need to plan for one priest, not just during the vacancy but beyond.

What this means in practice is that both St. Matthew’s and St. Sabinus’ will have a non-Eucharistic, lay-led service once a month. In this way, your priest would be expected to lead no more than 2 Eucharists on any given Sunday; my view, shared by the PCCs, is that this reduction in workload will safeguard the well-being of your new Vicar (and of Ann, during the vacancy).

I’m aware that, for some of you, not having access to Communion in your own church every Sunday will feel like a hardship. However, we’ve always intended our 3 parishes to work together as a team; and so, on each Sunday, there will be a morning Communion service available not far from your home church (in the case of Mortehoe and Woolacombe, a bit over a mile away). Equally, we have some very capable lay people, many of whom have experience of leading worship – so the new services will give an opportunity for them to develop their gifts. And the hope is that a different kind of service, once a month, will be attractive to people of all ages who don’t at present worship with us.

It's also worth noting that the firm intention of all 3 PCCs is that each of our churches should continue to have a service every Sunday. This is no small thing, in a context where many rural churches have services once, or at most twice a month.

Below you can see how the monthly rota, starting from May 1st, and agreed by all the PCCs, will look. Do please contact me if you have any concerns or questions.

1st Sunday:         8.45 am: Holy Communion at St Matthew’s; 10.00 am: Morning Worship at St Mary's; 10.00 am: Parish Eucharist at St Sabinus’


2nd Sunday:      10.00 am: Morning Worship at St Matthew’s; 10.00 am: Parish Eucharist at St Sabinus';  6.30 pm: Holy Communion at St Mary’s


3rd Sunday:        8.45 am: Holy Communion at St Matthew’s; 10.00 am: Parish Eucharist at St Sabinus’; 6.30 pm: Evensong at St Mary’s


4th Sunday:        8.45 am: Holy Communion at St Matthew’s; 10.00 am: Morning Worship at St Sabinus'; 10.00 am: Family Communion at St Mary’s


5th Sunday:        8.45 am: Holy Communion at St Matthew’s; 10.00 am: Parish Eucharist at St. Sabinus'; 6.30 pm: Holy Communion at St. Mary’s


You will notice that both St. Mary’s and St. Matthew’s have chosen to move their Morning Worship services to 10.00 am. It’s worth noting also that in the winter months (from October 1st to March 31st) the evening services at St. Mary’s will move from 6.30 to 4.00 pm.

The exact format of the lay-led services is a work in progress, but is likely to involve our Iona worship books. So you might see some of these services billed as "Celtic Morning Worship"...

 Wishing you every blessing

Your Vicar, Giles


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 Services for August 7th

 8.45 am       Holy Communion at St. Matthew's, Lee

10.00 am      Parish Eucharist at St. Sabinus', Woolacombe

 6.30 pm       "Scarecrow" Songs of Praise at St. Mary's, Mortehoe


A Letter from Giles

Hello everyone – it’s almost (but not quite) time for me to say “Farewell”. The answer to the frequently asked question, “When are you retiring?” (not for me to enquire whether or not the questioner is looking forward to this event) is “August 31st in the year of our Lord 2022”. After that date, we have a few weeks’ grace to pack up, before moving to our house in Ilfracombe.

However … what I really want to put out there is an invitation. If you are someone who has (how can I put it?) had dealings with me over the years, and if (how can I put it?) we’re still on speaking terms, then please, please turn up to one (or better still, both) of the special farewell events we are planning:

  • - On Sunday August 28th at 6.30 pm we’ll be having a Songs of Praise in St. Sabinus’. In other words, a massive sing-song – hymns chosen by me – a glass of something afterwards. If you like singing, come!
  • - And then on Saturday September 3rd from 3.00 till 5.00 there will be a Farewell Tea Party in and around St. Sabinus’. A change to lounge around and catch up – bring children – everybody welcome!

I really hope you can come along. Clare and I have made so many friends in the 3 villages (and further afield – well, at least as far as Braunton or Ilfracombe) over the past 25+ years, so it would be great to see as many of you as possible…




Resources for prayer and worship

You will find plenty of helpful ideas on the Church of England website - - and the Diocesan website -

If you'd like help with a pattern of daily prayer, you can download the Church of England's Daily Prayer app. "Lectio 365" is another excellent prayer app.


Parish Support Fund

This is a new initiative, set up by St Sabinus' Church, to make small grants available for anyone in Mortehoe and Woolacombe who may be struggling to meet immediate financial needs. The scheme is administered by St Sabinus', on behalf of the churches in both villages, and in collaboration with Mortehoe Parish Council. Please contact Giles (870467 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you would like to donate to the Fund, or if you would like to apply for a grant. All enquiries will be treated in confidence.


St. Sabinus' Roof Project

A big thank you, on behalf of the Roof Group, to all who have already donated to our Roof Appeal. In view of the present difficult financial climate, it has been decided by St. Sabinus' PCC (Church Council) to limit the initial scope of our Appeal to essential repairs to the roof. So we are calling it the Roof Restoration Appeal. 

We will be applying to a range of grant-giving organisations, in the hope that some of them will be able to support our Appeal. And we would be very grateful for any donations that individuals might be able to offer (regardless of the amount). We have set up a separate bank account for the Roof Appeal - BACs details below:

Account name: PCC of Woolacombe Roof Account

Sort code: 53-61-21    /    Account number:   63107813

Reference:  Roof Appeal, plus your surname (unless you wish to remain anonymous)

- If you'd like to GiftAid your donation, please contact our Planned Giving Officer, Colin MacPherson, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

- For any enquiries, please contact the Vicar, Giles King-Smith, on 01271-870467 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

And finally ... the St. Sabinus' Roof Group would like to record their thanks for every contribution to the Roof Appeal - whether already made or in the pipeline!



Agnostics Anonymous

Open discussion for people of all faiths - or none! Will re-start in September (date tba)







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