Celtic GlorySpiritual

St Nectan’s

Welcombe Church and holy well, Devon

The church in the tiny hamlet of Welcombe in Devon is dedicated to St Nectan and not far from his central base at Hartland. A holy well just near the church is also dedicated to Nectan, so we decided to visit and pray.

On our first visit bell ringers were there and the bells rang out joyfully, however it wasn’t possible to stop and settle to pray. The same applied to the well where pagan offerings had been left just like the ones at Nectan’s well at Hartland.

Our second visit was peaceful and quiet. There’s a beautiful presence of God in the church but apart from settling into His presence there was nothing noteworthy to record. There was no sense that this place was actually one Nectan frequented and the dedication may merely be that, attributed by the abbey as the church was associated with it. However, the well is marked as a holy well and the dedication is St Nectan, yet I had no sense of a God mission or purpose for us being there.

Nectans well welcombe

There is a glorious stained glass window of Christ in the church.

Welcombe church window

We went down the valley to Welcombe Mouth on the coast. This was a jagged and jarred piece of coastline with lines of tooth lined rocks striated and aligned heading out to sea. It was far from peaceful and not a place you really wanted to linger for its beauty but it held a fascination of kinds in its rough bleakness and the ferocity of the sea.

Welcombe church nectan