At the Cornwall Historic Churches Trust, we hold five events every year, some of which are major fundraising occasions.
The Annual Lunch, is held in May, at one of Cornwall’s historic houses.
The AGM for Friends of Cornish Churches is in May/June and takes place at an especially interesting church within the county and is followed by a lecture and tea.
The Annual Friends of Cornish Churches Visit is in late June/earlyJuly where Friends can enjoy a visit to two churches, again followed by a lecture and tea.
Cornwall Churches Day (in association with National Ride & Stride) is a national day of fundraising for local churches and the Trust, and is held on the second Saturday in September.
And finally, just before Christmas, there is the Champagne Christmas Party which is usually held alternately at Scorrier House, near Redruth, and Boconnoc.
Full details of the most current event will be posted on the Homepage of the website as soon as available. Details can also be found in the annual report which is sent out at the end of March.
We welcome new Friends. Join for just £20 a year individual membership or £30 a year per couple, click on this link Join as a Friend
SATURDAY 9th SEPTEMBER
Cornwall Churches Day – Central event will be the Ride & Stride, with additional local fundraising events up to and around this day.
WEDNESDAY 11th OCTOBER.
Trustee and Executive Committee Grants Meeting
THURSDAY 21st DECEMBER 2017
Christmas Party at Scorrier House
Please put these dates in your diary. Details will follow in the Annual Report and we look forward to seeing you during 2017.
News from 2017 events
Annual Luncheon, May 2017– Place, St. Anthony-in-Roseland
The lunch this year was held at Place, St. Anthony-in-Roseland by kind invitation of the Grant-Daltons. The family and their forebears the Sprys have lived on the estate for over four centuries. Set on the spectacular Roseland peninsula the manor commands fabulous views across the estuary to St. Mawes. Drinks were served to guests on their arrival during which short tours around the church were given by historian Jo Mattingly. The church adjoins the house via an 11th Century doorway and, like the house, has undergone many alterations and additions over the generations. There was much to admire not least the high quality carvings of foliage, corbel heads of kings and bearded men adorning the 13th Century tower.
The lunch is always popular but this year drew in some welcome new faces from across Cornwall and further afield. The drizzle was persistent and confined everyone indoors but failed to dampen spirits as drinks were followed by the buffet lunch. The house lends itself to large parties and the 130 guests were seated at long trestle tables in three large reception rooms. All proceeds from the lunch go towards restoration of churches across the county.
Left photo: left to right; Peter Tunstall-Behrens, Charlie Alford and Hannah Tunstall-Berens. © Charles Francis
Right photo: Dina and Mike Croft who, undeterred by the Cornish mizzle, arrived by boat across the estuary from St. Mawes. © Charles Francis
Friends of CHCT Annual Church Visit, June 2107
We had a most interesting afternoon with the friends when we visited St Mary Magdalenes and St Cuthbert Mayne in Launceston concluding with a fascinating visit to Trecarrel Chapel and everyone enjoyed tea in the beautiful grounds.
Annual General Meeting July 2017
At our annual meeting at St Cuby, Tregony, which focussed on the Romanesque period of church architecture in Cornwall, Christine Edwards set the scene by describing the history of Tregony, its Norman castle and port, alongside an earlier church site of St Cuby. This helped to introduce Dr Alex Woodcock who shared with us his immense knowledge on sculpture from this period. He spoke on his years as a stone mason at Exeter cathedral and the difficulties of carving granite (Norman sculptors used softer, easier to carve stone). Then he showed us how the ‘modernist’ appearance of much Romanesque sculpture appealed to mid-20th century sculptors like Henry Moore or Barbara Hepworth, but not to Nicolaus Pevsner. Indeed, the first slide of Alex’s talk showed John Piper’s hand appearing in a photograph of the beast-covered Norman font of St Cuby, Tregony, where Piper’s wife’s job was holding up a white background.
Cornwall has a great deal of Romanesque or Norman-period sculpture and architecture of high quality, and Alex steered us through some of the notable doorways and fonts found throughout Cornwall with tree of life, beasts, interlocking circles and winged heads among the motifs. Among his most interesting discoveries was that the beasts and beakheads found in some North Cornwall and Devon churches, are otherwise only found in Oxfordshire and Yorkshire. Although churches are rarely documented in the Norman period, Alex was able to show patronage links between the Romanesque south doors at Kilkhampton and Morwenstow in Cornwall, and Reading Abbey through Henry I’s illegitimate son Robert of Gloucester. Illegitimacy was a bar to becoming king, but clearly not to cultural engagement with the arts and architecture. Thus Cornish Romanesque architecture, like much else later, can be seen as of national, not just regional, importance.
Alex left us a list of churches throughout the county for us to find fine examples from this period which you can download below.