Welcome to the Swimbridge parish church website
St James church is a gem set in the centre of the delightful village of Swimbridge. It appears in the book England's Thousand Best Churches by Simon Jenkins and in Dr Todd Gray's Devon's Fifty Best Churches. Our famous Victorian rector, the Rev. John Russell ('Parson Jack'), bred and gave his name to the much-loved terrier dog. The church is open every day for quiet prayer and meditation from approximately 10.30am until 4.00pm (though please note that funerals and weddings take place from time to time and that Sunday services sometimes continue until 11.00 am). This lovely church attracts visitors world-wide due to its wealth of interesting historical items.
The church tower probably dates from the 13th century and the spire from c. 1310, while the church itself was rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries. The interior contains exceptional features such as a carved Gothic rood screen described by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner as ‘glorious’. There is also an extraordinary carved wood font of the Renaissance period. These treasures are shown in more detail in 'pictures' above, along with other pictures of the church.
There are regular services every week, check here for times and additional services. The church is also popular for weddings and baptisms. The bells are rung on special occasions such as weddings.
Swimbridge is situated between Barnstaple to the North West and South Molton to the South East. In terms of touring the county, the village is between Dartmoor to the South and Exmoor to the North and you can find us using the map page.
Please enjoy your visit to our website and we hope to welcome you one day to our church.