St Michael & All Angels Church, Meeth

Fundraising Appeal

Meeth PCC is pleased to announce that all funds for the project have now been raised thanks to further support from National Churches Trust, Devon Historic Churches Trust and local supporters of our fundraising events. The scaffold is currently being taken down and water and drainage supply should be in before Easter 2017.
Short History of Church and Bells

St Michael & All Angels Church is a beautiful rural church. Recent archaeology showed evidence of an earlier Saxon church on the site. Three medieval graves found are from at least two phases.
Although restored and refitted in 1893 the building is packed with history. It has retained many of its original Norman features with additions from the 14th and 15th centuries. The beautifully modelled plaster coat of arms dated 1704 celebrates two church wardens of the time and is thought to be the work of John Abbot of Frithelstock. The building is surrounded by a large, open churchyard.

The church has a three-stage, unbuttressed, square tower, in dressed grey granite blocks with four plain pinnacles. The four bells are all listed: two of the bells are early medieval. The other two are by Johannes Stadler of Chulmleigh, 1714. All are inscribed. The oak frame with timber headstocks is by Henry Stokes of Woodbury, 1902. The bells were rehung and rededicated by the Bishop of Plymouth in 1991, and are rung regularly for services.

You can read more about the church here





Forthcoming events

Coffee morning Old Schools Hatherleigh Tuesday 28th February 2017

Lent lunch 12.30pm Wednesday 29th March 2017

Harvest Service, Supper and Auction Friday 22nd September 2017

Meeth Patronal Service and Lunch Sunday 1st October 2017

Carol Service Wednesday 20th December 2017


  24 february 2017

Re-plastering project

In 2012, after four years continuous fund raising and grant applications, we were finally able to carry out restoration work to re-plaster and repair floors to our Church. I cannot put into words how we all felt when we saw our beloved Church totally empty – the altar, pews, lectern, everything was gone! What had we done! I still have pictures of the church with the plaster stripped off. However, it was worth all the effort when we saw our tired damp church transformed into a warm, welcoming place of Worship, refuge and reflection. Unfortunately, the work highlighted the major problem we now had with the tower due to water ingress, it was in a much worse state than we had anticipated. We were visited by English Heritage who pronounced the tower in danger and wished to add us to their Damp Tower Project. Our funds were depleted and we were in no position to carry out the required work.

Work required to bells and tower

• Raking out old mortar, filling voids and re-mortaring with lime
• Repairs to lead on roof and around windows
• Urgent repairs to frame supporting bells
• Bells need urgent repairs to staples, steel angles, fixings, headstock, clappers etc
• New facilities i.e. tea bar and w.c.
• Restoration of 15th and 16th century tiles

Why work is important

The Church and bells are of historical importance and of great value to the local community, who support the Church in many ways. Significant services and fund-raising events are well attended.
We must keep the Church safe for future generations for Worship, reflections, weddings, funerals and keeping the community together.

What we hope to achieve with new facilities

• Hold more events for the community to attend
• Encourage more people to engage with our Church
• Enable people from farther afield to attend
• Make visiting more comfortable for visitors

Our experience of the project

We had some experience of managing a project with the re-plastering and flooring work and knew that we would have to work hard fund-raising, making grant applications, stay committed, keep calm and carry on!

This project is much bigger and requires many more grant applications and a lot more detail, which is only to be expected as we are asking for a great deal of money. I must stress that our architect, Simon Cartlidge is invaluable and a lot of the worry has been taken away. It is a great deal to take on such a large project, but the value to future generations to keep our Church alive is inestimable.

The support we have received from our sponsors is fantastic and we would like to thank them all very much. We were delighted to obtain a second round grant of £156,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund which meant that we were able to start planning a timetable for the project. Please see Press Release below.

We are very pleased to announce that we have received a further £3000 from  Devon Historic Churches Trust for repairs to the tower and from The Balsdon Trust, Holsworthy £1,500 towards bell repairs.  Thank you so much.

The support we have received

• Allchurches Trust
• Church Buildings Council (Bells)
• Devon Historic Churches Trust
• Flo Petherick bequest
• Garfield Weston Foundation
• The Headley Trust
• Heritage Lottery Fund
• The Idlewild Trust
• Local community
• National Churches Trust
• The Archdeacons Fund
• The Balsdon Trust
• The Bell Restoration Fund
• The Cooper Fund (via DAC)
• The Sharpe Trust (Bells)
• Viscount Amory’s Charitable Trust


Progress Report August 2016 - click here
Progress Report 25 May 2016 - click here


Heritage Lottery Fund Press Release

Meeth Church secures Heritage Lottery Fund investment for restoration project

Meeth Parochial Church Council (PCC) has received a grant of £156,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the restoration of the tower and bells at St Michael & All Angels Church in Meeth.

Meeth Parochial Church Council developed the project with an initial HLF grant of £18,900 to discover the cause of the water ingress to the tower and the means to restore the structural stability of the tower, which was in danger of falling down.

Now further HLF funding has been released, the project aims to carry out urgent conservation work to the tower and bells to preserve them for future generations. The funding will also support the installation of new church facilities so that the local community can take part in activities and be part of the church’s heritage.

This project also aims to explore the fascinating history of Meeth church. The church, which lies at the heart of a close-knit rural community, was one of the earliest Christian settlements. A recent archaeological investigation revealed rare evidence of an earlier Saxon church and medieval remains. The church décor includes listed medieval and Johannes Stadler bells, a beautiful plaster coat of arms of Queen Anne, listed tombs and memorials. The medieval floor tiles recently examined by an archaeologist, funded by this grant, are unusual, since the majority of specimens were made at the recently discovered kilns at Great Torrington.

Mrs Beryl Toop, Churchwarden, said: “We are truly blessed by all the help and support we have received from Heritage Lottery Fund and others in enabling us to undertake this huge task, for which we are very grateful. Steady progress is being made and we are hopeful that restoration work will start soon”.

Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, St Michael & All Angels Church in Meeth will be able to complete important restoration works to ensure it remains a focal point for the local community. This project will also raise awareness of the rich history of the church, including its intriguing archaeological past.”

About the Heritage Lottery Fund
From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players’ money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about


  National Churches Trust Press Release - 21st December 2016
National Churches Trust Press Release extract 24th June 2015

Huw Edwards, Vice President of The National Churches Trust said: “The UK’s churches and chapels are a treasure trove of architecture, history and faith. But these buildings don’t belong to the past. They pay a vital role in our present and future too, acting as places of worship, community centres or simply somewhere to go for quiet contemplation.”
“The cost of keeping churches and chapels wind and watertight and paying for the installation of modern facilities is far beyond the means of congregations.”
“That’s why I’m delighted that the National Churches Trust has been able to provide a £10,000 grant to St Michael & All Angels Church, Meeth, Devon to pay for repairs to tower and new facilities. This funding will help ensure that St Michael & All Angels Church continues to serve the people of Meeth for many years to come.”

About the National Churches Trust

The National Churches Trust is the leading national independent charity concerned with the protection and welfare of churches, chapels and meeting houses throughout the United Kingdom. We aim to:
a) Provide grants for the repair, maintenance and modernisation of church buildings
b) Act as a catalyst to improve and bring more resources to the management of church buildings
c) Promote the value of church buildings to the community at large
For more information visit

The fundraising events we have held so far

• Soup Lunch held at Meeth Village Hall 1200 Wednesday 10th February 2016
• Craft Day with Tarka Pottery 19th March 2016
• Needlework patterns of our bell tower tiles November 2015 to March 2016
• Daffodil Walk at Park Farm by kind permission of Mr John Dennis 9th April 2016
• Coffee Morning – Hatherleigh Old Schools – Tuesday 26th July 2016
• Annual Dog Show and Fete Saturday 13th August 2016 at the Old Rectory, Meeth
• Patronal Service with free hot lunch to thank supporters 25th September, 2016
• History Weekend, Friday 30th September - Sunday 2nd October, 2016
Friday 30/09/16 Concert with John Courtie on trumpet, Christine Cleverdon on organ and Louise Cleverdon on cello. This was a lovely varied programme enjoyed by all.
Exhibit boards were on display all weekend in the Church and Village Hall with refreshments available.
Saturday 1/10/16 talks on archaeology by Dr Sam Walls; architecture and the current project Simon Cartlidge; and Torquil McNeillage on conservation of the tiles in the bell tower and Queen Ann Coat of Arms.
Sunday 2/10/16 Special Service with a sermon preached by The Venerable Dr Douglas Dettmar followed by a hot lunch and teas in the afternoon.
• Coffee Morning Hatherleigh 4th October 2016
• Harvest Service, Supper and Auction 14th October 2016
• Advent lunch and Fayre Village Hall 30th November 2016

Hours of opening

We aim to be open for Services as normal, but access whilst work is taking place Monday to Saturday may be restricted for Health and Safety reasons. If in doubt contact Jenny Green.

Contact numbers

  Priest in Charge: Rev Dr Ruth Hansford

Contact Details: Miss Jenny Green 01837 810709 or e-mail:


© 2016