St Calixtus Church

December services now shown below.  Please note you must book a place for services on 19th and 24th December.

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.

December Link Magazine
may be read here.

Coronavirus update 19th November 2021

Church Hall

The Iron Room opens for meetings without mandated restrictions on 19th July.  Please see below the separate section which contains information to hirers and users.

St Calixtus Church

Whilst most legal restrictions have been lifted we will continue to exercise caution in our practices, in order to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus. In North Devon, infection rates remain high, and whilst it seems that vaccines are considerably reducing the risk of serious illness, the extent of that protection is not yet completely clear.

With all this in mind the PCC’s of each of our churches have agreed to adopt the following precautions for the immediate future.

  • Hand hygiene – Hand sanitiser will be available on entry and exit to our Churches.
  • Track and trace – Whilst it is no longer a legal requirement to take a register of those attending worship, the UK Government regards Test and Trace as an important tool in managing Coronavirus. We will therefore ask for contact details of those attending worship and the QR codes for the NHS app will remain in situ.
  • Social distancing – We are confident that in each of our churches, we can accommodate a full congregation for Sunday worship whilst maintaining social distance. We will continue to keep a space between pews and have areas in our churches designated for maintaining social distancing. If though, people wish to sit together, they may now do so freely.
  • Face coverings – Whilst this is no longer compulsory, face masks do protect others and as a matter of Christian principle, we will encourage the continued use of face coverings inside our church buildings.  Please note that as the number of parishioners is low at West Down face coverings are only needed when moving around the church.  This exception does not apply to booked services.
  • Ventilation – We will continue to keep at least one door open during services.
  • Holy Communion – We feel that the use of the common cup carries too great a risk given the current circumstances, and there will therefore be no changes to our current practice, with the congregation taking communion in one kind only for the foreseeable future.
  • Hymn singing – Congregational singing is now permitted, but given the additional risk of airborne infection that it presents, we are asking our congregations to wear a face covering whilst singing, unless outdoors.
  • Refreshments – The PCCs will carry out risk assessments to determine safe ways to restart the serving of refreshments after services.
  • Baptisms, Weddings and funerals – There are now, no longer legal restrictions on numbers attending weddings and funerals. We will endeavour to be clear in our conversations with families about what we are able to offer in our services, taking into account their priorities regarding the mitigation of the risk of infection. It is our policy to hold Baptisms during a regular Sunday service and so the general recommendations for Sunday worship will be considered when planning a Baptism.

*****If you have any symptoms of Covid 19 or have been advised to self-isolate, please do not come to the service. If you develop symptoms and/or test positive for Covid 19 within a week of attending a service, please contact the Rector on 01271 812605 and the NHS Track and Trace service.*****

If you want to know who is taking the services please us the link to the monthly magazine (above) for more detail.

For times of services at St George’s Church, Georgeham and St Mary’s Croyde go to the website:

Services for December 2021

Week Heanton Marwood West Down
1 – 5th Holy Communion  11 am Family Morning Worship 10.30 am No Service
2 – 12th Carols by Candlelight 6 pm Carols by Candlelight and Nativity 4 pm Holy Communion 9.30 am
3 – 19th 19th Family Communion 11 am

24th Crib Service 4 pm

24th Holy Communion 11.30 pm

25th Holy Communion 10 am

19th No Service

24th Holy Communion 11.30 pm

25th Holy Communion 10 am

19th Carols by Candlelight 6 pm*

24th Nativity at 4 pm* and 5.30 pm*

25th Holy Communion 10 am


4 – 26th Beneface Morning Worship 10.30 am Beneface Morning Worship 10.30 am at Heanton Beneface Morning Worship 10.30 am at Heanton

* This means that these are services for which you need to book in advance.  Please contact Andy Odell on or 07940 524302 (mobile or text) to confirm the lead person in your party and how many seats (including yourself).  Places will be allocated on a first come first basis.  For the services on the 24th December please state your preference 4 p.m. or 5.30 p.m.

There is no service at West Down on Sunday 2nd January 2022.

A call for prayer

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  Please pray for Steve who is taking a short break because he is recovering from an illness.
  • 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.

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)

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

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 19th July without mandatory restrictions.

The Iron Room is open for meetings from Monday 19th July.  It will be up to individual users to take what measures they think fit whilst inside the Iron Room.   Hand sanitiser will be available for use on entry and exit. Hirers are asked to consider their own safeguards especially when meetings/events involve large numbers which should be avoided.    Please do not enter the Iron Room if you have any COVID-19 symptoms and/or have been advised to isolate either through an App notification or by Track & Trace.

Please book through Andy Odell who looks after the day to day running and booking.

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 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.:

  • 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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