Growing in the Love of God

The Upper Wylye Valley Team - Team Overview

Our vision is to be open, welcoming, growing and inclusive churches, living within the love of God and sharing God’s life and love with others.

Upper Wylye Valley Team Overview

The Upper Wylye Valley Team was formed in May 1997 from eight parishes with ten churches. The Team lies between chalk downs in Wiltshire, with Warminster 2 miles to the North West and the cathedral city of Salisbury 14 miles to the South East. It is in the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs ‘area of outstanding natural beauty’. All the ten villages lie within a section of the valley which is only 6 miles long and one and a half miles across. The A36 and the railway, which both link Bristol and Southampton, follow the River Wylye through the valley. The A36 joins 5 villages on one side of the valley, and ‘the back road’ links 5 villages on the other side. The ten villages don’t quite correspond to the churches because Boyton Church serves two villages and Codford has two churches but all the villages are easily accessible.
Three of the villages are quite large; Codford, Sutton Veny and Heytesbury each have about 600 parliamentary electors, a primary school, and some local facilities such as post office, pub, shop, garage and surgery. Two villages are of medium size – Corton and Upton Lovell – and the remaining five, Tytherington, Knook, Boyton, Sherrington and Norton Bavant are relatively small.

The population of the team area is 2,700 adults and about 300 young people in addition. There are three Church primary schools in the Team with a combined total of about 350 children, some of them coming from Warminster and outlying villages.

Farming is still an important activity in the area but employs fewer people than in the past. Serving and retired Service people form a significant group and the Salisbury Plain Training Area still employs a number of civilian staff. There are several local employers in light industry and services. There is also a minority who live and work in London during the week, and others who commute to Warminster or Salisbury.

Because these villages are popular for retirement, there is some shortage of affordable housing for those born here. Sales of former council houses have helped first-time buyers and there is also some rented accommodation and housing association and other privately rented properties. Some young families move to Warminster and their children attend primary schools in the Team area. Warminster has a large Comprehensive school which is attended by the majority of local children and there are a number of private schools within daily travelling distance. The Team has one nursing home at Sutton Veny and there are several residential homes in or near Warminster. There is a small hospital in Warminster with the main ones being in Salisbury, Bath and Southampton with private clinics in Bath and Salisbury and there are hospices in Salisbury and near Bath. The Hospital of St John in Heytesbury is a charity and alms-house and provides affordable housing for older people in need.