Situation – Broadhembury is a rural parish of some 4700 acres with an adult population of approximately 700. The Parish is bounded at the northern and eastern sides by the Blackdown Hills with the northern third in Blackdown Hills AONB and the village of Broadhembury is in a conservation area.
Communities – The estate village of Broadhembury (and Causeway End) is the largest settlement and Kerswell is a sizeable hamlet with working farms and private housing. The other hamlets are Dulford and Colliton (each alongside the A373) and Luton, and each are small communities, as are the smaller settlements of Crammer and St Andrew’s Wood.
To some extent the parish is divided by the busy A373 Honiton/Cullompton road, but the school catchment area, the vagaries of phone numbers and bus routes, mobile libraries and Doctors’ surgeries all contribute to make it hard for the parish to have a focal point. However, the unifying factors are; pride in the pretty village of Broadhembury, the historic church, the parish magazine and the recently rebuilt Broadhembury Memorial Hall. Traditionally, a village facility, the Hall has been built to act as a centre for Parish-wide activities and clubs.
Employment – Broadhembury is a picturesque village of cob and thatch cottages and the parish is a typically rural one with most of the employment within the parish boundaries being agricultural. The only shop in the parish is the combined Post Office/Village Store/Newsagent and Tea Room in the centre of the Broadhembury Village, opposite the Drewe Arms Pub. Colliton Barton Farm is the biggest single employer, though service industries provide some other employment as do B&B’;s, tree nurseries, painting and decorating businesses, a holiday complex and the sawmill at Luton.
Schools – Broadhembury is a Church of England (VC) primary school and has around 40 pupils. Two of the Governors represent the church, Neil Facey and James Rees (the ex-officio Foundation Governor). Due to the catchment area for Broadhembury school covering more fields than houses the majority of the pupils travel daily by bus from Dunkeswell. The School is consistent in receiving very positive comments from OFSTED and SIAS on its leadership, the quality of the teaching and the progress of the children
There are strong links between the school and the parish church with the children regularly being involved in Thursday morning services in the church. They often play a part in special services and contribute to fundraising activities.
Dulford and Kerswell primary children are taken to Kentisbeare School and for secondary education to Cullompton or Uffculme. Children from Crammer, Colliton (south side of A373) and Luton areas go to Payhembury primary and thence to Kings School in Ottery St Mary. Secondary school aged children from Broadhembury are transported to Honiton and a few catch a bus to Colyton Grammar School.
Social Interaction – Both Broadhembury and Kerswell have children’s playgrounds; Kerswell’s is the focus for social activity in the hamlet. Broadhembury has a thriving Wl, attended by some from Payhembury, as well as the Over 60’s and Senior Citizens’ Luncheon clubs. Broadhembury Mothers’ Union has united with Payhembury. The mobile library from Tiverton visits the parish fortnightly.
The parish Church of St Andrews is a Grade 1 listed building consecrated in 1259 and is situated in a conservation area. The south aisle and tower are 15* Century. The church holds approximately 200. There is some good stained glass and a fine organ which has been the star of a number of fund-raising concerts. There is a monument and connection to Augustus Montague Toplady. It is a versatile building in a good state of repair and much visited. The Tower Room – the result of fund raising by the congregation – is useful for small meetings and has washing and heating facilities and the Lady Chapel can also be used as a small meeting/worship area. The church is open every day and a small army of people, many not churchgoers themselves, attend to the myriad of functions that help keep the building in good order and accessible to all. These include a rota for opening and locking the church each day, flower arrangers and church cleaners. Although also benefiting from voluntary work, the regular maintenance and grass cutting of the churchyard is by contract.
The electoral role is currently 23. Congregations are mainly elderly with an average attendance of 13. The schedule of services is varied; Holy Communion on the first and third Sundays of the month and lay led services of Morning Praise and All Age Worship on the second and fourth Sundays respectively. On fifth Sundays, the 6 Parishes of the Mission Community come together for a joint service held at the member Parish Churches in rotation.
Finances – General Fund income for 2020 was £13,033 with expenditure of £15,201. There are separate restricted funds for Fabric, Churchyard and School. The Common Fund commitment of £8,137 was paid in full. Most regular attendees participate in our Stewardship Gift Aid Scheme.
Churchmanship – Through our services and worship we endeavour to put worship and faith into practice through prayer and scripture, sacrament and music. The PCC is committed to encouraging and enabling as many people as possible to worship at our Church and to become part of our Church community. The PCC maintains an overview of worship and with the guidance of our Rector makes suggestions on how our services can involve the range of people who live within our Parish.
|Rector||Revd John Hayhoe||PCC Chairman|
|Churchwardens||Mrs Edwina Bradshaw|
|Mr W Sivewright||PCC Vice-Chairman|
|Treasurer||Mrs J Walters|