Torbay Methodist Church in Dartmouth

The town of Dartmouth enjoys a unique position on the banks of the famous River Dart, from which it takes its name and which is often styled “The English Rhine”. 

Dartmouth can justifiably claim to be one of Devon’s most interesting and historic seaports. It was from this port that the ships of the Crusades set sail. It was also in Dartmouth that the Pilgrim Fathers assembled in worship for the last time before they began their voyage across the Atlantic in the Mayflower and the Speedwell in 1620 before being forced to returning to Plymouth when it was discovered the Speedwell was taking in water.

In 1341, the town received its first charter from King Edward Ill: a charter which granted self-government under a mayor and corporation, providing that two ships, each of 120 tons, were given to the services of the monarch.

Dartmouth has had connections with many famous sea-faring men Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh being among them  Today Dartmouth is the home of the Britannia Royal Naval College that trains officers of many Navies of the world.

Flavel Memorial Church is situated by the Tropical Gardens, with good access to the council car park. It is, consequently, very popular with a number of visitors during the busy summer months, when the population in this attractive resort town increases by 50-100%

Flavel Church has, for some years, been part of a joint pastorate with
Brixham URC, with a single minister responsible for both churches. Dartmouth URC and Dartmouth Methodist congregations united in 1985 to become one ‘United Methodist’ congregation. The church building is some 110 years old, although there has been a church in the same location for almost 300 years. Flavel Hall is situated behind the church. As part of the mission of the church, the URC have agreed in principle to transfer the hall to a new trust to facilitate the building of a community centre incorporating theatre, library, exhibition space and meeting rooms for the church and other bodies.

There is a small but friendly congregation, with a very small but active
Sunday School, which meets during the latter part of the morning service. Morning worship is at 10.45, the minister officiating alternate weeks. There are no evening services, but members of the congregation share in monthly afternoon services at Dartmouth Hospital. Other special services during the year include Harvest of the Sea, Town Service and Toy Service, with, of course, the usual Festivals of the Christian Year. Holy Communion is held monthly on the fourth Sunday.

Flavel Church’s outreach centres around the coffee morning, held each Friday between 10.30 and 12.00, where warm fellowship is enjoyed between people of different denominations, and none. Flavel Hall is used on Tuesday night for ‘Flavel Club’ where children are introduced to the Christian faith through games, activities, talks and lots of fun.

Flavel Church has for many years supported Little John’s House, a home for under-privileged children in Romania. Gifts from Harvest and Toy Service are donated to this cause.

Flavel Church has declined in numbers over recent years yet looks with faith and hope to God to direct their paths into whatever future He has in store for them.

Torbay Methodist Church in Brixham

Brixham stands on the shores of a fine natural harbour, which is home to one of the largest fishing fleets in the UK, and is sheltered from the prevailing south-westerly winds by Berry Head.

Brixham’s history goes back to remote ages, long before its mention in the Domesday Survey. It is particularly associated, however, with the landing of William of Orange in 1688, later to become King William III and also the anchoring in Torbay, in 1815, of HMS Bellerophon, with Napoleon on board, prior to his exile on St Helena.

Berry Head House, Brixham, which is now a fine modern hotel; was completed in 1809 for use as a hospital if Napoleon invaded. In 1834, the Revd Henry Francis Lyte made it his home, laying out its 41 acre grounds in a series of rock walks, much of which remains to this day. It was a combination of the peace of this beautiful house, its grounds and superb views across Torbay that inspired this famous poet and hymn-writer, in 1847, the year of his death, to write that loveliest of all hymns “Abide With Me”.

Cornwall Tops The List of Most Relaxing Places to Live

A recent study by get my mortgage has put Cornwall at the top of the list of the most relaxing places to live in the UK! We are thrilled with the news! See the top 5 places that made the list below

1. Cornwall 

Sitting at the top of the list is Cornwall, one of the most beautiful places in the country, rural and coastal settings a plenty and a friendly atmosphere. Cornwall forms a peninsula with wild moorlands and many sandy beaches. The south coast of Cornwall is dubbed the Cornish riviera due to the climate and picturesque landscapes. Cornwall has a host of picturesque villages and seaside resorts

2. Standish 

A small yet humble town in the borough of Wigan has made it onto our list due to the small population, low pollution and lack of traffic jams. The village has a population of less than 14,000 people making it a perfect place to settle.

3.The Lake District 

One of the most beautiful places in the UK, it was always going to make it onto the list. A favourite for nationals and tourists the lake district is a region of Cumbria in the northwest of England. With a low pollution level and beautiful market towns such as Keswick, Kendal, Ambleside and Derwentwater. The lake district is a wonderful place to visit and live.

4. Wales

Wales made it on to the list due to the low levels of pollution and traffic free roads (mostly). Wales is a well known part of southwest Great Britain. With rugged coastlines and famous mountains located there. The celtic culture and welsh language is a draw for tourism.

5. Scottish Highlands

Home to famous loch Ness and many other famous attractions  the Scottish Highland is a wonderful place to move to and relax, benefit from rural locations and lower house prices you can pick up a lot of real estate for a lower cost.

As you can tell the most relaxing places to live in the UK appear to be more rural locations, this goes to show that city life really does have an impact on our health and ability to de-stress. Not everyone will be able to move to the locations or may not even want to but a short visit to a rural location is proven to reduce stress and help relax. If you live in a busy area it can be a great way to relax with a rural weekend away.

Newsletter of the Friends of Factory Row


ONE of the unforgettable stories from the Bible is the story of Legion, which appears in much the same form in the three Synoptic Gospels.
It’s a detailed story sub-headed “Jesus cures a madman” in my New English Bible and memorable for its tabloid-like sensationalism. Legion’s demons are sent into a herd of pigs, which stampede over a cliff. It’s dramatic stuff, which would certainly have made the headlines today.
But it’s not this aspect of the story which interests me. What grabs my attention is that Jesus reached out to a man whose bizarre behaviour had led to him becoming isolated and feared by his own community to such an extent that he slept rough, banished to the margins.
St. Mark tells us: “Unceasingly, night and day, he would cry aloud among the tombs and on the hillsides and cut himself with stones.” (Mark Ch 5 v.5)

Landing on the shore of Gerasenes, how easy it would have been for Jesus to make his way into the settled homes of the village, enjoy a drink, chat in the sun and accept the admiration of polite society.
But Jesus was different to you and me. Jesus’s ministry was, above all, inclusive. No one was beyond the love of God, beyond hope, beyond his healing power.
Sometimes as I wander around Torquay town centre and see some of the familiar street dwellers, cursing through a drunken haze, dishevelled, angry and isolated, I think about how Jesus approached Legion, fearlessly, seeing the man behind the “madness” and wonderfully, astonishingly “made all things new” for him.

Jesus no longer walks our streets, but he still has followers who are trying to be his hands on earth.

The ministry of Factory Row and Project 58 is a team effort to bring those who are living on the margins of our community, “among the tombs” as it were, back into the heart of our society.

Social isolation only compounds the problems that many have. A resident of Factory Row once told me that the hardest thing about waking up on a park bench or a seafront shelter in the morning was the look of disgust and snarled comments from passers-by.

But how ready is society to accept the reformed alcoholic, the ex-drug user, and the psychotic whose symptoms are managed with medication, back into a trusted role?

The story of Legion has one more telling point. Far from the local people rejoicing that this local nuisance, this down and out, had been restored to them, St. Mark records that “they were afraid”.

What of I wonder? Perhaps it was because they would have to change too. They would have to abandon their scapegoating of Legion; the easy stereotype that “people like him never change”, the pigeon-holing and the pecking order.

In Gerasenes a “madman” had become a celebrity. Things would never be the same again and they didn’t like it. No wonder they asked Jesus to leave.

Factory Row

If all goes to plan, the existing Factory Row buildings will be demolished this summer and then work will begin on a new purpose-built hostel. Planning permission was obtained in December and alternative accommodation for the people who live in Factory Row secured.

The new premises will house 24 residents and include training rooms, doctors’ surgery and offices.

The rebuilding of the hostel was planned by Torbay Churches Homeless Trust some years ago but is only now coming to fruition under the Langley House Trust. Money from the original ‘Move On Up’ appeal will be going towards it and the ‘Friends of Factory Row’ will be raising more to furnish the lounge.

God has been faithful to the original vision of a community inspired homeless project. He has delivered!

The Torbay Churches Homeless Trust merged with the Langley House Trust in October, 2005, ensuring the future of the hostel and its Christian ethos. Langley was founded in the 1950s by John Dodd, a survivor of a Japanese PoW camp.

Your donations of food that can be stored, toiletries and other consumables essential to daily life are always appreciated at the hostel. These can be brought to church on Sundays or at any other time the church is open.


Helping the children who need it the most – the child care charity of the Methodist Church

Ever since NCH was founded in 1869 by Methodist Minister Revd Dr Thomas Bowman Stephenson, the link between the charity and the Methodist Church has always been strong. Today, we still work together to support vulnerable children and young people and campaign on their behalf for social justice.

Who we are

NCH is the children’s charity.

What we believe

We believe that all children and young people have unique potential and should have the support and opportunities they need to reach that potential.

What we do

Through our projects we make a real difference to the lives of children, young people and families who are facing difficulties and challenges.

Where we work

NCH works in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and is the United Kingdom’s largest children’s charity. We have more projects and work with more children and young people than any other charity.

How we do it

NCH works in partnership to develop services in response to the needs of local people.

Why we do it

Because we believe that every child should have the chance to live their life to the full. We have been working to make this vision a reality for over 135 years.

Who we work with

We work with some of the most vulnerable and excluded children and young people in United Kingdom.

How you can help

By supporting the work of NCH in your area

Our Projects

NCH runs more than 480 projects for vulnerable children, young people and their families, which help more than 98,000 people.

These figures include over 50 projects that NCH Scotland runs to help more than 5000 people, over 55 projects that NCH Cymru runs to help more than 12000 people and the increasing presence of NCH Northern Ireland which opened in October 2000.

The Services we run

NCH improves the lives of the UK’s most venerable children and young people by offering them diverse, innovative and responsive services and by campaigning for change.

Our projects are varied because they are developed in response to local needs. They fall into three broad categories.

For children at risk we provide:

  • family centres that specialise in helping families where there is a child protection concern
  • sexual abuse treatment centres
  • residential, foster care and adoption services for children in care
  • schools for children with special educational needs

For families in need of support we provide:

  • neighbourhood family and community centres
  • short break projects that support disabled children and their families
  • young carers projects
  • child-focused mediation for divorcing and separating parents
  • Early Years services including Sure Start

For vulnerable young people we provide:

  • leaving care services
  • youth justice projects
  • youth homelessness projects
  • projects that prevent school exclusions and truancy

NCH is currently the largest national provider of services to disabled children and their families, of neighbourhood and family community centres and of services for young people leaving care.

We run many other services aimed at helping children and young people to achieve their potential. The Government has pledged to end child poverty by 2020 and NCH works with more children in poverty than any other single agency.

Circuit News

Langley House Trust

Desperately seeking Susan…and Bob and Eileen…..! It was a delight to meet existing Langley House Trust supporters and to make new friends on our stand at the Methodist Conference in Torquay. The Trust, which provides support and accommodation for ex-offenders wishing to resettle crime-free, is currently looking to recruit more people to join our mailing list and we would like to ask you to prayerfully consider whether you would be willing to do this. A simple form (on the reverse of our “Pass it on” brochure) is available from our Head Office (tel: 01993 899594 or email: [email protected]) and you get a Freepost envelope and a useful pen too, so it won’t take you a moment! Simply tick the boxes to tell us what you’d like to receive. We can send you spare brochures too, for you to pass to friends and colleagues.

By keeping in touch with developments at the Trust and by praying for our work, you will be playing an important part in the process of changing lives and breaking the cycle of re-offending which causes so much damage to individuals and to Society.


I am thinking of starting a puppet group up in the Circuit. In the last circuit the puppets and stage were used a fair amount but, it takes teamwork for a bigger group to start-up this kind of work. If you are interested in having a go at a ‘tasting’ session, say a puppet workshop to be arranged?

If successful then we propose to use this page to pass on information where they will be playing next in the circuit.

Torbay Civic Society ‘Blue Plaque’

Click on the image to see a full size picture – then use the back button on your browser to return to this page.As a result of a joint initiative between the Torbay Circuit and the Torbay Civic Society, a plaque was unveiled on Thursday 18 October 2001 to commemorate the beginnings of Methodism in Torquay.

We had an excellent ceremony unveiling the plaque – the venue was the Burger King restaurant in Fleet Street, Torquay which is the closest point to where two cottages were converted in 1807 to form The Chapel In The Meadow, the first Methodist “church”. The plaque was unveiled by the Deputy Mayor of Torbay (Councillor Heather Buckpit) together with 94 year old Leslie Callard whose brainchild the plaque was.

We were given splendid coverage by BBC Radio Devon by our local evening newspaper the Herald Express.

Some 60 people turned up and we surprised everyone by lustily singing “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”. I doubt whether Burger King patrons had ever experienced the like of it before.

‘Snakes and Ladders’

The Torbay Circuit came together to present four performances of a musical ‘Snakes & Ladders’ by Roger Jones & Alison Fuggle, at Central Church. The epic shows human history taken from the Old and New Testaments, showing that God constantly offers to men and women the ladder of His love. It takes certain key episodes from the first snake of disobedience to the final ladder of Jesus’ death and resurrection, via Noah and the Flood, Abraham and Isaac, Jacob’s dream, Moses & the Israelites and Zechariah’s vision of salvation to come.

The music, provided by a group of nine musicians and a choir of approximately 40 under the direction of Ron Burrington, and the drama, provided by five churches from the Circuit, attempted to bring these familiar stories alive, to show God’s love for ordinary people, and calling them to follow Him, using them in amazing ways.

A team of local dancers used their skills and colourful costumes to greatly enhance the production. The narrators and soloists brought their talents which, together with strong lighting and sound effects, completed the elaborate staging.

It was the Producer Pete Trotman, who co-ordinated the whole event, the proceeds went to NCH.

The show was enjoyed by all those who participated, and this spilled over to give all four substantial audiences something to remember for a long time.

Our Message

Dear Friends

I have recently returned from the Methodist Conference which this year was held in Blackpool. I feel it is a privilege to be asked to serve at Conference as it is the body which oversees all of Methodism.

We have a wonderful word in Methodism

Connexion (and yes that is spelt correctly). It is an expression of our interconnectedness with all of the other Methodist Churches both in the UK and around the world. We do not stand alone in this place, but rather we stand here as part of something much bigger, a church which encourages, enables, and supports us in our work. And Conference is the ultimate expression of Connexion, where representatives from across the country come together to share and to discuss all that is going on in our church.

During Conference we heard of some of the exciting things that are going on across the church and our communion service was led by a group from the “Somewhere Else” . We talked about the way that our church is organised, recognising that we need to restructure in the coming years. As part of this we heard some of the stories of places where churches and circuits are trying new ways of doing things, circuits working together in groups, or coming together completely to form super circuits.

This is an exciting time to be a part of the Methodist Church, change is not always bad, indeed the best changes are those which take those things from our past which make us what we are, and communicates them in new and exciting ways. I hope and pray that we can play our part in this as we move with confidence into the 21st century.

God Bless.