Parish Profile

The Parish
              The Parish of Clyst St George (population 633) is located in the country some 5 miles from the centre of Exeter, 6 miles from the coast at Exmouth, 2 miles from the old estuary town of Topsham and within easy reach of Dartmoor. It is considered an attractive place to live combining the countryside with easy access to Exeter and good transport links by train, air and the M5 motorway. It principally comprises the villages of Clyst St George and Ebford. Whilst the former is the historic centre of the parish, the latter has been subject to development over the last 20 -30 years to provide in part a dormitory area for the surrounding larger towns The Parish is thus part rural and part suburban. As with much of East Devon the population is much older than the national average, with many residents having retired.
              Whilst the centre of the village of Clyst St George is little bigger than a hamlet it nevertheless contains a popular village hall, a successful cricket club, Lady Seaward’s Church of England Primary school and Little Dragons pre-school. There is a thriving Women’s Institute and village activities such as Quiz Nights and Harvest Lunches are well supported.
                Away from the village centre of Clyst St George is the headquarters and training complex for the Devon and Cornwall Fire Service. Nearby are both the St George and Dragon Inn with 40 bedrooms and the Darts Farm shopping complex which attracts visitors from a wide area. In Ebford there is a retirement care home.
              Employment is not particularly centred on the Parish although, in addition to those mentioned above, there are a number of small business facilities located throughout the Parish. Farming remains a key activity but, as elsewhere, is now much less labour intensive.
The Church of England Primary School
              Lady Seaward’s Church of England Primary School is one of the oldest in Devon having been established more than 300 years ago, with the present principal building dating from 1859. The school can accommodate up to 84 pupils in 3 classes. Pupils worship weekly in the church but only exceptionally there on Sundays since the majority of them live outside the Parish. Located on the same site is the independent Little Dragons pre-school.
              The incumbent is an ex-officio Governor of the school and there is an objective to strengthen relations between the church and the school. 
The Church
              The parish church of St George lies at the centre of the village. Dating from the 14th century and before, all but the tower was destroyed or damaged in 1940 – the first church to be destroyed in the Second World War. The church was re-built in an updated but traditional style and re-consecrated in 1952. With large clear glazed windows it is a light and friendly place to worship. The fabric has been well maintained and is in good condition.
              There is an active “Friends” organisation which raises funds for capital developments and major repairs to the fabric. These activities are well supported and often provide a bridge between the Church and the Parish.
The Congregation and Worship
               There are 43 on the Electoral Roll the majority of whom are of retirement age. Recognising this, parishioners are supportive and encouraging but, clearly, pastoral care is of importance. There are relatively few children living in the Parish and a proportion of these attend private schools. With most housing remote from the church most parishioners travel to services by car.
              On average, there is a service at the church four Sundays out of five. Generally, these comprise three services of Holy Communion, 1st Sunday Book of Common Prayer, the third Sunday Common Worship “2000”,fourth Sunday Family Communion using less formal liturgy; the second sunday of the month is a Lay-led service of the Word. Additionally, special services are held at Festivals and Celebrations. Attendance ranges from 10 to 50 and more for Festivals. Other than the early morning Communion, services are accompanied with the organ and less frequently a choir. The style of service is in the central tradition of the Church of England.
              Apart from the lay led service, there is no regular support with the taking of services. The congregation supports the Ordination of Women.
              The church is an attractive setting for weddings and the number of baptisms, weddings and funerals is generally commensurate with the profile of the parish.
              The PCC meets at least 3 times during the year. There are no active standing committees and significant business is transacted at meetings of the PCC. Day-to day requirements are delegated to the Rector, Church Wardens and Officers. In the past the administration has been  principally handled by the Incumbent.
              Financially, covenanted giving and fundraising activities currently result in the PCC just about being able to meet expenditure, including the Parish Share and clergy expenses. However, this is about to become more difficult with the introduction in the Diocese of a new scheme for the calculation of the Parish Share. The church has invested reserves of about £10,000.
The Mission Community  
              For many years the Parish has been part of either a Team Ministry or United Benefice and as such is used to cooperating and working with other parishes and sharing the Parish Priest. Now, as a further development, the Parish is working with others to form a Mission Community. A new incumbent will be expected to play a key role in bringing this to fruition and encouraging lay participation in the work of the Church and in leading services.


Clyst St George Guide


Clyst St George
Webpage icon Services
Webpage icon Forth coming events
Webpage icon The Friends of Clyst St. George Church
Webpage icon Clyst St George PCC Minutes
Webpage icon Clyst St. George PCC Members 2015-2016