THE FUTURE of a small village church in the Tamar Valley has been secured after living with the possibility of closure due to falling congregations.

An amazing turnaround in fortune has benefited Dunterton Church after it was threatened with closure as an active church in November 2022 due to falling numbers at services – shocking the congregation.

Supporters from miles rushed to help boost church pews and swell the church coffers – leading to it becoming the fastest growing church in the area.

This surge in community support saw campaigners forming a formal ‘friends’ group and arranging numerous events to garner support and raise funds.

More people came along to the annual fundraising river walk as the campaign gathered pace.

Archdeacon of Plymouth Jane Bakker said: “Now that the friends' group has formed, the future for the church is much more certain. They manage the church on behalf of the Parochial Church Council, who remain legally responsible for the church.

John Spensley, Dunterton Church Warden giving a reading.
Dunterton churchwarden John Spensley giving a reading (Submitted)

“The Friends' Group is committed to keeping the building in good repair, growing the congregation and keeping the building open for visitors and for public worship. As a result, the formal process of closure has been paused and will lapse in September so the future of the church is looking much brighter!

“All Saints' is a beautiful church set in the rolling hills of the Tamar Valley. It has been a treasured part of the community for hundreds of years. The Diocese of Exeter is committed to being a Christian presence in every community. Sometimes that is challenging, but I am delighted that All Saints' Church is to remain open.”

Dunterton Church is one of the fastest growing rural churches.
Dunterton Church is one of the fastest growing rural churches. (Submitted)

Julia Martin, of the Friends and Supporters of Dunterton Church, said: “We are delighted to learn from the Archdeacon of Plymouth, when she visited us, the great news that the notice of closure for Dunterton Church has now been withdrawn and the future of the church is looking very steady indeed. I’d like to thank each and every one of the friends and supporters group who have worked so hard to save this stunning little church from closure.”