THERE is some shock news for Cheriton Fitzpaine after it was announced that Cheriton Fitzpaine Methodist Church is to close for worship.

Mary Nunn, a member of the congregation and mainstay at the church explained: “It is with great regret that, due to falling numbers, and the average age of the remaining members, Cheriton Fitzpaine Methodist Church will be closing for worship on April 7.

“However, we will have our customary Easter Day Communion Service at 11am on Sunday, March 31, conducted by Rev David Greenwood. All are welcome to attend.”

Mary added: “To celebrate our achievements over more than 160 years, there will be an Exhibition of record books, photographs and artefacts in the Church on Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6, from 10.30am to 4pm, and on Sunday, April 7, from 2.30pm to 5pm.

“Tea and Cake will be available throughout.

“Our final Service will be on Sunday, April 7 at 11am. Any donations received will go to The Community Shop.”

Cheriton Fitzpaine is situated 10 miles from Exeter and five from Crediton. The Chapel has an active history extending more than 160 years.

The Church Hall alongside has been used for many meetings and events and until recently, the Welcome Club met there and meals were served twice monthly.

The Village Shop is sited on the church drive and it is invaluable to many.

It has a good stock of items and newspapers, run by a manager and host of volunteers.