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St Michael & All Angels, Alphington

Rector: The Revd Stephen Bessent.

01392 437662.

The church can be thought of as both a building and a community, and that is certainly true in Alphington. St Michael's is typical of many in the lower Exe valley, constructed of local red sandstone. It dates from around 1480, and stands on the site of a much earlier Norman church, of which nothing now remains except the font. This is said to be one of the finest in England, made of Beer stone and intricately carved, a copy stands in the museum. The present church contains many fine features, as well as one or two amusing ones ( e.g. a painted panel depicts St Dunstan holding the Devil by the nose with a pair of tongs!) However, our church is not simply an impressve and beautiful historic building, it is also a lively worshipping community. St Michael's offers opportunities for young and old alike to deepen their faith in God. Our Sunday service pattern provides a variety of worship, both modern and traditional, formal and fun. We hope everyone will find a style that encourages them to join us in praising God, learning from his Word in the Bible and prayer. The church family also enjoy getting together for regular social events, developing fellowship and friendships with each other, which often provide support and help in more challenging times. There is a creche area within the church to encourage young families to join in the wide range of services. The Sunday Club is for younger children, who start each Sunday with a short time of All Age Worship, and then move onto their own activities, whilst the adults remain for a more traditional Communion service. On the first Sunday of the month the whole congregation stay together for an All Age Service with more lively interactive worship, including modern technology, which is intended for all the family. At most services our music group lead some or all of the worship on piano, guitar, violin, and other instruments, and we would welcome extra musicians to join them. Young people from the local school, Cubs and Brownies join us regularly to be part of special services.

On the second Sunday of each month, there is `Messy Church'. There are fun craft and worship activities for children of all ages, followed by a yummy Sunday Tea. Teenagers get together fortnightly for their own style of friendship, study and worship. The church doesn't just meet on Sundays! A number of mid-week Home Groups, Bible Study and prayer groups meet regularly in homes around the parish. Church members co-ordinate the `Alphington Life' village magazine, and also organise other activities for the wider community including the Church Fellowship, a group for older residents, and the Church Lunch, both meeting once a month. There is `Little Big Band' ­ local musicians who rehearse together fortnightly and often perform for local events, and `Chatterbox'- a weekly community cafe run by volunteers, where people come to meet old friends, and hopefully make new ones too! From time to time we run courses such as Alpha and Christianity Explored. These are designed to introduce the Christian faith to those unfamiliar with it, or as a refresher course for church members. Each week, the group shares a meal together, getting to know each other better, then watch a video on an aspect of the Christian faith. Afterwards, there is time in a small group for everyone to discuss any issues or questions they have, and to learn and reflect together. We also have an active interest in the wider church. St Michael's is part of a developing `mission community', sharing our clergy, people, ideas and other resources with our sister-churches in Ide and Shillingford. Together we belong to Christians Together Across Exeter, which encourages links between different church denominations and traditions. We are also committed to financial and prayer support for ICE (Initiative for Christian Education) working in Exeter schools, plus former Alphington residents who are missionaries in Uganda and other missionaries in Pakistan. We also regularly support other local charities such as St Petrocks.

You are very welcome at all our services and activities.

Look out for more details on the notice boards outside the church or on our website : www. alphingtonstmichaels.org

If you would like to know more about the church [or even visit it] or if there is any way in which we can help you, please contact the Rector, Stephen Bessent or e-mail us on: [email protected]

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