Extract from Michael Thayer's Letter - The Beacon, January 2007

"Certainly for the Church of England in the diocese of Exeter 'Moving on in Mission and Ministry' (MOIMM) continues. I fully explained the diocesan strategy in the 2004 September Beacon, a mission plan that is to be in place by 2012. This article explains where we are in the process.

Both parish PCCs have voted on how to proceed, and unanimously South Tawton has decided to join the Whiddon Parishes Mission Community, while Belstone with a vote of 7:1 have voted to join the Okehampton group. Prolonged discussions preceded these decisions, which will obviously mark the end of the united benefice. The benefice was set up under the 1981 Pastoral Measure, and a pastoral scheme will be needed to disunite the benefice and unite the parishes with their new partners. The archidiaconal and diocesan pastoral committees need to be informed along with all interested parties including the patrons, the Deanery Synod, and finally the Church Commissioners. Both the Okehampton (North Moor) and Whiddon Groups have to formally express their agreement to the project.

In the diocese all MOIMM plans are being formulated at Deanery level and all decisions will go forward as Deanery proposals. The disuniting of the benefice could possibly take up to a year. The AGMs in both parishes have been and will be opportunities for everyone on the church electoral rolls to express their opinion concerning the future, and the dates of these meetings will be announced in the February edition of the Beacon."

Revd Michael Thayer