St Calixtus Church

About St Calixtus Church

The Church is situated in the centre of West Down and it is visible from most of the Parish.  The Church is part of the North Taw Mission Community (NTMC) comprising St Calixtus (West Down), St Augustine’s (Heanton Punchardon), St Michaels & All Angels (Marwood) and St George’s Georgeham and St Mary’s Croyde.

For more detail about the Church, its Bells, Tower and St Calixtus see History of the Church.

June Link Magazine
June 2021 Link Magazine may be read here.

Coronavirus update 27th May 2021

Following the implementation of the Government’s roadmap out of coronavirus restrictions, we have reviewed the activities of each of our churches. We continue to carry out risk assessments in order to be sure that all activities are carried out in a Covid-secure manner. Our service schedule has been updated until the end of August. Please see our calendar for dates and times of services. On-line services will continue on this website each Sunday.

There are no longer government restrictions on numbers attending funeral services but in order to comply with social distancing regulations we will still need to limit numbers attending. The specific limit of people attending any particular funeral will be determined when organising the service. The number of people permitted to attend weddings has been raised to 30. We are once again, able to offer baptism during regular Sunday services but the number of people attending baptisms will be again be restricted according to the safe maximum number determined for each Church.

Guidance on attending services is shown in red below.

Services from July through to August 2021 (subject to any change in government guidance)


A call for prayer

Prayer is at the heart of the Christian faith and we encourage everyone viewing this website to give some time between 6.30pm and 7.00 pm on Sunday evenings in a collective act of prayer into our situation. Each week we will produce a guide for prayer which can be found here.

We realise that this is a difficult time for many people. If you would like us to pray for any specific need please e-mail us at and we will ensure that members of our prayer team pray for you. If you have any other pastoral need, please feel free to contact either of us.

  • Rev Steve Painting (Rector) 01271 812605
  • Rev Caroline Raby (Associate Minister) 01271 815560

Church Finances

We would like to acknowledge and thank those of you who, as part of your commitment to worship, have given financially to the work of our churches. We also recognise that many of you, in spite of the difficulties of the current situation, continue to give through standing orders and the Parish giving scheme.

Over the last few weeks the income of our churches has, quite understandably, dropped significantly. One of the reasons for this is that we are not currently able to receive gifts physically through offerings made during services.  Due to Coronavirus restrictions at West Down there will not be a collection during our services. If you would like to make a financial contribution to help with the running of the church, the maintenance of church buildings and the Diocesan Parish Share you can use the collection plate as you leave using the yellow gift aid envelopes.  Alternatively you could make a donation by an internet banking transfer using the following details:

  • St. Calixtus, West Down, Parochial Church Council (West Down PCC)
  • Sort Code: 20-04-59 Account number: 90689920 Reference: donation

Should you wish to make a regular donations please contact our treasurer, David Ravenscroft (01271 865413) to discuss options.

National Services

For immediate access to weekly online Church of England Sunday services (from Mothering Sunday onwards in date order) please use the following  link  (click here)

North Taw Mission Community Services

Please do take a look at the Northtaw site for information about our local community services.  Rev Steve has been putting regular updates on this site including written services and audio files.

The following link is to the latest available service and talk.  (click here)

Save the date – 13th September 2021 – 100th anniversary of erection of war memorial

It was with regret that we had to announce that the 100th anniversary event planed for Sunday 13th September 2020 to mark the erection of our war memorial for the parish of West Down was postponed for a year due to COVID.  It will now be held on Sunday 12th September 2021 commencing at 10.30 am.  More information about this event may be found by clicking here.

Activities at other Churches (for more detail, look at the website above or in the Link Magazine):

  • Cancelled due to Covid-19

ACPM – 9th May 2021

The last annual meeting was held on Sunday 9th May 2021.  Minutes of the meeting may be obtained from the Secretary.

Iron Room (Church Hall) Management and Use – Reopening for public use on Monday 17th May

The Iron Room is open for meetings from tomorrow 17th May subject to the rule of six or two households.  Please book through Andy Odell who looks after the day to day running and booking.  Note that there will be a 72 hour gap between booking to avoid any COVID risk.  We hope to be back to normal in June subject to government restrictions.  Please follow the COVID guidance in the Iron Room at all times.

If any users of the Iron Room have any comments to make about the church hall would they please make them known to the Caretaker Andy Odell – or 07940 524302.  We would be keen to hear views about the equipment, services and charges – both positive comments and areas for improvement.  As a result of feedback, additional lighting has been made available along with two fans heaters to boost the oil filled radiators.  Users are more than welcome to put on the heating about an hour before any event/meeting starts.

Please note that for the time being keyholders are not to enter the Iron Room without having made a booking.

modern-thumbIron Room Booking Form

Bible Study – all cancelled due to Covid-19

Held in the Iron Room (or a participants house) usually on a Monday afternoon.  Come and explore the Bible and issues of faith in a warm and friendly environment.  Call or email Rev Caroline to find out more or to join in – 01271 815560 or

Messy Church – all cancelled due to Covid-19

Look out for information about the next date.

Church Yard Rules and Charges for Services

A copy of Church Yard rules and Charges for Services may be obtained here.

Electoral Roll

The Electoral Roll is a list of the members of the Church of St Calixtus.  The list was updated in March 2019.  The position of Electoral Roll Officer for St Calixtus is Dianne McGahran.

Year End accounts to December 2019

A copy of the last year end accounts (December 2019) may be obtained from the Treasurer.


The PCC takes the lead in carrying out the mission of the church – the whole church. Working alongside and supporting the clergy, pastoral care, telling the story of faith, social action and co-operation with churches of other denominations all fall within its remit. In many ways it is the PCC that shapes the health of the church.

PCCs are legal entities and are governed by two pieces of Church of England legislation, called Measures. These are the Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956, which defines its principal functions, and the Church Representation Rules.

This second document is particularly useful in understanding the operational rules that govern the PCC and includes information on how often it meets, its members, how elections are held, the responsibilities of its officers and how it relates with bodies such as the Deanery Synod and Diocesan Synod. It also looks at the rules that govern bodies such as District Church Councils, Joint PCCs, Team and Group PCCs.

Further information for specific roles within the PCC can be found below, along with links to the downloadable forms and guidance each role might find useful.

If you have any further questions please contact the Synod Office by email or by telephone on 01392 294931.

PCC Members for St Calixtus

The following persons are members of the PCC.  If you wish to contact a Member please do so through the Secretary.

Rev Steve Painting       Priest in Charge               812605

Rev Caroline Raby      Associate Priest                            815560

David Ravenscroft       Treasurer                       865413

David Roff                       Reader/Vice Chair                813329

Dianne McGahran         Secretary                                       624153

Wendy Ravenscroft       Member

Jackie Bodman               Member

Albert Rusling                 Member

Margaret Rusling           Deanery Synod Member

PCC Meeting Dates

The following meetings of the PCC will be held in the Iron Room at 7 p.m.:

  • 8th June 2021 – Business Meeting
  • 9th September 2021 – Open Meeting
  • 11th November 2021 – Business
  • 20th January 2022 – Open
  • 10th March 2022 – Business

The PCC meets on a regular basis to undertake its duties.  PCC meetings are open to members only (except for open meetings – see above) but if you wish to raise something about a church matter please contact the Secretary.  There are vacant places on the PCC as shown below:

  • 2 x PCC members
  • 1 x Deanery Synod Representative
  • 2 x Church Wardens

Minutes of PCC Meetings

Minutes of meetings are held by the Secretary and are available on request.


Churchwardens may traditionally be responsible for maintenance of buildings and keeping records, but today they are vital to mission and ministry, caring for both parish and minister. It is a post that is challenging as well as rewarding.

The two positions of Churchwarden for St Calixtus are currently vacant.


Exeter Diocese –

Villages Mission Community –

Who is St Calixtus?

St Calixtus (Callistus) Pope and Martyr c.160-c.222, pope (217-222) Patronal day – October 14.

St. Calixtus (or Callistus) was a Roman from the Trastevere district.  As a youth he was the slave of a Christian Freedman, Carpophoros, who set him up as a deposit taker.  He lost the money belonging to other Christians and fled from Rome.  He was caught & returned to his master.  After fighting in a synagogue he was sentenced to work in mines in Sardinia but was eventually released with other Christians.

He became Archdeacon to Pope Zephyrinus and in this post, he constructed a cemetery on the Appian Way to provide a tomb for each Christian, including the poor and the slaves.  It is one of the most famous of Christian cemeteries and in it are buried up to 500,000 Christians including many popes and martyrs.

He succeeded St. Zephirinus in the pontificate in 217 or 218, and governed the church five years and two months during which time he enlarged the catacombs, which became the official cemetery of the Church of Rome and which took from him their name.  As Pope he established the practice of admitting to communion those who repented from their sins – even the most heinous.  This made him unpopular so he died a martyr by being thrown into a pit.  He was buried in the Cemetery of Calipodius on the Aurelian Way.

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