St. Mary the Virgin
The Church of St. Mary, Kelly with The Church of St. Nonna, Bradstone
We are a small Rural parish in the south west of the Lifton Benefice with a population of around 200. Originally two parishes we have two churches St. Nonna’s Bradstone, and St. Mary’s Kelly.
St. Nonna’s is located on one of the ancient routes into Cornwall and was originally a Chapel of Rest for those crossing the River Tamar by a ford at Greystone. A charming small church it is now in the care of The Churches Conservation Trust. Still consecrated, it is used on occasion for weddings and funerals, and is much liked by visiting Bellringers.
St. Mary’s, adjacent to Kelly House, is the working church of the parish. Consecrated in 1259, only a 14th century capital remains from the earliest period. The present building is largely perpendicular, with an interior remodeled in 1865. The Chancel was rebuilt in 1710, and the Tower which had become ivy encrusted and dangerous was rebuilt in 1885. There is 15th century glass in one window, the remainder being the work of the 19th century Lavers and Barraud studio.
It has six bells and holds a special place in the history of Devon Ringing. In 1865 it was here that the first full peal of Grandsire Doubles “was rung in Devonshire by men of the County”. Rev Maitland Kelly who trained and rang with the local team on that occasion went on to encourage and train many other teams in the County.
At present we are a small elderly congregation. Usually we have 2 services a month, one Morning Prayer the other, if clergy are available, Holy Communion. We enjoy our singing and use the range of hymns recorded by the choir of Lincoln Cathedral who also support our BCP Morning Prayer service with the Venite, Te Deum, and Jubilate.
Benefice services, when they occur, considerably boost our congregation. Remembrance Sunday is also an important date in our calendar and is always well attended. We have a keyboard which is used on those occasions.
With a small population Baptisms and Weddings are infrequent and very special occasions for the community, as are funerals.
Although we are a small parish, we gain strength today from being a part of the Lifton Benefice, and seek to encourage the next generation.