We worship one God in Trinity

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On this page

Our normal point of contact is the Parish Office – 01404 44035     office@honitoncofe.org   
However, the office will NOT be open to visitors during the crisis. Emails and voicemail will be checked as often as we can.

There is a special mobile phone line for anyone with an URGENT NEED to contact the Honiton Mission Community: 07565 740894.
In order to provide a record of your requirements we ask that you TEXT this number and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

In love for a world undergoing crucifixion and awaiting resurrection

Please don't forget the FOOD BANK at this difficult time

Please don't forget the FOOD BANK at this difficult time


REAL services at St Paul’s:

Said Eucharist – 11 am at St Paul’s

Places are limited and booking is essential – please contact the Parish Office if you are interested in finding out more or getting involved.

A Reflection - some thoughts for Lammastide

If you grew up in the 70s, like I did, there’s a decent chance that your earliest knowledge of Joseph’s story came through a local high school or community theatre production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice playfully and  quite faithfully  tells the story of a young boy, the favourite son of the patriarch Jacob, who sets in motion both a family and a geo-political drama by flaunting his fashionable coat. As a school production, it was all great fun – lively music, entertaining words,  a wide enough range of emotions to catch the attention of most moody teenagers!

Now, a bit, (well, may be a lot!),  later in life, I see layers of depth not there before. As an adult, I have watched how childhood sibling rivalries age: how they might  harden into chasms of emotional remove, or sharpen  into bitter arguments over the course of medical care for ageing parents; how, more hopefully, they can soften with maturity into a deep appreciation for our sibling’s, parents’, child’s unique gifts. Parents might read the Joseph story through the eyes of Jacob and see in him their inner turmoil: chronic anxiety about the well-being of their children and their role in their lives.  Every parent is Jacob, imperfectly, although to the very best of their ability, apportioning love and discipline; wondering (if not praying): “God, did I give my children my best… or my worst?” I’m not a parent, but I’m still bound up in the context of family relationships, and  every day I ask God to bless my family and to help me be a good daughter, sister, aunt, godparent …  And I have to trust that God is listening, although I have to admit there are times when it doesn’t seem terribly obvious!  In found myself in exactly that situation one evening this week: sitting down last thing at night and asking ‘God, where are you in all of this?

God is confoundingly hidden in this story. The Joseph story is longer and more complete than that of any other patriarch or matriarch. Less a collage of fragments, it is a whole work of art. Yet it is almost completely without God, who was the driving force in the lives of the men and women before and after Joseph. Abraham, Moses – even Jacob-would do nothing without God. The story of Joseph hardly mentions God. Is God hiding amidst the chaos?

What is not hidden – what is on full display-is a family conflict of legendary proportions. Joseph, second youngest son of Jacob, was born to his beloved wife, Rachel. But Joseph has no mother-she has died in deep sorrow. Jacob, perhaps compensating for Rachel’s absence, lavishes Joseph with love and invests in him his hope.  Jacob’s overt favouritism is embodied by the extravagant coat he has given young Joseph to wear, a coat with “sleeves that touch the ground,” a coat that evokes royalty.

Joseph wears his privilege too proudly. Oblivious to the fact that his older brothers despise him, he shares with them two vivid dreams. In each, the world revolves around Joseph – the world bows down to serve him.  The brothers, seeing already the writing on the wall  – that Jacob has passed them over, seethe at his arrogance.

Then, commanded to go find his brothers at work in the fields, Joseph walks into a trap they have laid, but he has prepared. At the last minute they hold back on killing their brother (sibling cruelty may have its limits), and choose instead to sell him into slavery. They take the coat – the object that represents all that is wrong in their family – and they smear blood on it, and return it to Jacob, remaining silent while Jacob is consumed by the vision of his beloved boy being eaten alive by animals.  The passage ends with Jacob in agony, believing that his son – his dream, his hope – has been ripped from the world and is no more.

Somewhere this morning, I am sure somebody will be basing their sermon on dreams, as a result of this passage!  I wouldn’t want to refute the importance or the power dreams can have – from the song “To Dream the Impossible Dream” to the prophetic oracle of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream,”  they can have a positive power in our lives.

But the dreams in this story are an earthquake that exposes tragic faults:

  • Jacob, who never felt his father Isaac’s genuine love, instead steals his father’s fortune and blessing from the hands of his own brother.
  • Joseph’s brothers are born into a family where love is never evenly apportioned, where every day’s dawn brings new expressions of resentment between parents; they grow up in a home where the warmth of parental approval is rare and the chill of disdain breeds bitterness.
  • Joseph, a little brother who is loved too much, who gets away with too much, spoiled, a bit of a tell-tale, a son who acts like the sun; a child with greatness inside, who never knows if his greatness comes from a blessed nature or an unhealthy nurture.
  • God, the Great Parent, whose blessing is conferred upon a family who seems unworthy of such a gift; God, whose face is nowhere to be seen, whose voice is nowhere to be heard, absent even when the child of the promise-and the promise itself-is given up for dead.

At the end of this portion, Jacob, like Rachel before him, cannot be comforted. The loss of Joseph is hell, made worse by the truth that this hell is partially of his own making.

No one I know comes from a perfect family.  And while no family I know is like Joseph’s, every family can be weakened by the things that weakened Joseph’s: generational dysfunction, parents working out their unresolved issues in the lives of their children, and by love unevenly – even unfairly -apportioned. Here’s another thing true of most every family I know: in the midst of family struggles, it can be hard to see where God is.

Whatever the situation with your family – whether you are Joseph in the pit, a brother standing on the edge looking down, or Jacob, receiving back the bloody coat that you never should have given-this story asks… no, it pleads with you to trust. Trust that God’s silence in your family is not the same as God’s absence. Trust that God has chosen this family to be the bearers of God’s blessing, not only for this family, but for your family, and for the whole world.  As I sat this week and asked ‘God where are you in all of this?’  I felt a firm but gentle presence strengthening me – not giving me easy answers – but reassuring me that however much chaos and pain there was, God was in every bit of it.

Before we know God, we know our family. Could it also be that to know our family, in all of its wounds and deep faults, is also the way to know God?

THIS WEEK: Worship at Home during Trinity

Sunday 9th August 2020
The Ninth Sunday After Trinity

(The Twentieth Sunday after Lock-Down)

Worship is available on the internet using ‘Zoom’, and on the telephone, using a conferencing facility. 
If you would like to know more about joining in with either, please contact either
Revd Sue  (01404 42925 or email Sue) or Julia Barrett (email Julia)

here’s an order of service for you to use:

Click on any page above to open the image viewer

To hear the tunes for this worship see below.
Now there’s no excuse for not joining in!

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation

Jesus is Lord! Creation’s voice proclaims it

Go forth and Tell! O Church of God Awake!
Tune: Woodlands

Exeter Cathedral

You may also be interested in Music and Worship from the Cathedral. Link to their pages here.

Resources to use at home

Celebrate Together Team at St Paul’s Honiton

We continue to make videos every week and post them on You Tube on Fridays. 

We start a new series of videos called In a Foreign Land. This will take us on an epic journey, starting with Joseph, where he is sadly forced to leave his home and journey to Egypt.  The series will take us on a voyage through various situations and eventually a passage through a dangerous sea away from Egypt.  So tune in each week as this saga unfolds in many surprising ways.

We have put the links to the songs that go with each video, so do have a singalong at the end of each video.

We look forward to seeing you all one day, but in the meantime sit back and enjoy the videos and songs.

Lots of love and prayers from all the Celebrate Together team.

Video series: "In a Foreign Land"

This week’s video: Joseph the Dreamer
(episode 1 of 6)

. . .  and here are the songs for you to sing along to:

Take part

We have produced a Prayer leaflet for your use during the Coronavirus emergency.

You can download your copy here

A simple form of worship for use at home is available.  I encourage you to stop each Sunday morning at the time of your usual church service, and use this service, worshipping at home, but as part of the Body of Christ, and its local expression in your community.  I will of course be praying it in solidarity with all of you. 
With my love and blessings,  Sue

You can download your copy here

Resources for children, families and young people

Exeter Diocese have developed a huge range of resources and activities for children of all ages.

Have a look at what they have to offer here

Baptisms & Weddings

As you will know, the Government has said that there can be no weddings or baptisms during the current situation.  We appreciate that this will cause much sadness and disappointment.  However, we really hope that you will get back in touch with us once we are out of this pandemic, and that you will want us to play our part in sharing in your celebrations. 

If you want to get in touch in the meantime to talk about your plans or hopes , you are so welcome to do so.


Funerals will continue to take place during the current situation.  However, only the immediate family will be able to be present, and the number of people involved must not exceed single figures.  There will be no organist.   Preparations for the service will be made by telephone and email contact.   

These restrictions will, inevitably be incredibly sad and difficult for everyone concerned, and we will do our best to support you in whatever way we can.  We will of course, be delighted to help you to arrange a service of Thanksgiving or a Memorial service once the restrictions are fully lifted.

On this page:
Worship  –  Events  –  Safeguarding

The Honiton Mission Community seeks to communicate God’s love and to reach out to others by encouraging people through pastoral care, participation and worship.

The Churches in our Mission Community

Our new website

If you are expecting to see the St Paul’s, Honiton website at this address, then let’s explain.

The domain name “HonitonCofE.org” feels more appropriate to the whole of the church in the Honiton area. So we have decided to make this the page that will cover all the activities that involve and affect all the parishes and churches in the Honiton Mission Community (HMC).

Each church’s individual page(s) can be linked by:
 * clicking on the appropriate image,   or
 * by selection from the menu,   or
 * direct from your browser using the format www.HonitonCofE.org/{church} (eg. www.HonitonCofE.org/Awliscombe)

We hope that you like the result and we look forward to receiving feedback and suggestions on how we can keep this important resource up-to-date and relevant.

Sue Roberts, Team Rector
Charles Pegman, Website Coordinator


Revd Sue Roberts

Team Rector


Julia Barrett
Licensed Lay Minister (Reader)


Mission Community Worship

Mission Community Events

  • Sat, 15 August 2020, 10:00 am: Coffee Morning


  • Tue, 18 August 2020, 10:00 am: Coffee Morning


  • Sat, 22 August 2020, 10:00 am: Coffee Morning


  • Tue, 25 August 2020, 10:00 am: Coffee Morning



Find out more about what the Church can offer for Christenings, Weddings and Funerals.

These are general presentations. When you are ready to make specific arrangements, please contact us via the Parish Office.

 + Christenings & Holy Baptism

 + Weddings

 + Funerals 


Safeguarding is the responsibility of each church in our Mission Community. Please see the appropriate parish page (from the menu above) for more detail.

SAFEGUARDING in the Honiton Mission Community – Promoting Safer Churches

The parishes of Awliscombe, Buckerell, Combe Raleigh, Cotleigh, Gittisham and Honiton (which make up the Honiton Mission Community) are committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk to worship and grow in Christ safely.
Concerns about children, young people and adults at risk will be diligently and promptly responded to according to our procedures, recognising the sensitivity it may hold for those involved.
As a Mission Community (group of parish churches) we have adopted the House of Bishops ‘Promoting a Safer Church’ policy and the Parish Safeguarding Handbook, incorporating the House of Bishop’s Safeguarding Policy and Practice Guidance. 
All our PCCs (Church Councils) have formally adopted this and signed a Safeguarding Policy Statement Promoting a Safer Church and a copy of this can be found on each church’s page on this site. 
We have also displayed the Promoting a Safer Church poster prominently within each church.
All those working with children and adults at risk have undergone safer recruitment, received safeguarding training and support.
If you have a concern about the safety of someone or the actions of someone working with children or vulnerable adults, please speak to the appropriate contact for your church – see the list or visit the church’s page on this website:

You could also contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team at https://exeter.anglican.org/resources/safeguarding/safeguarding-team/

If you are a young person and you feel unhappy about something happening to you, you can call Childline on 0800 11 11.

Honiton Mission Community Safeguarding

Parish Contacts



Combe Raleigh




Specific parish contacts are listed on their respective pages. For general enquiries and to book Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals, please contact:


The Parish Office
St Paul’s Church
High Street
Honiton  EX14 1PG

01404 44035     office@honitoncofe.org

“Around the Parishes” is the monthly newsletter of the
Honiton Mission Community.

Download your copy here.

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