Welcome to Cornwall Historic Churches Trust
CHURCH OF THE MONTH
St Michael's Church, Helston
St Michael’s Church sits high above the Cornish town of Helston, its tower visible from many points in the town and beyond. It is a replacement for an earlier church struck by lightning in 1727, and which became unsafe. The old church was pulled down and rebuilt between 1756 and 1763. The chosen architect was Thomas Edwards and the interior design is that of a Georgian London church, very similar to St. Alphege’s church, Greenwich designed by the celebrated architect Nicholas Hawksmoor, and where Edwards is buried. The church foundation stone was laid on 8th May 1756 but progress was slow and it was five years before the building was opened for public worship on 18th October 1761. The interior of the building has been much altered since it opened in 1761. In 1837-8 the church was renovated and extended by the Plymouth architect George Wightwick, who added the south porch and the north apse. These contained stairways to new galleries either side of the nave, supported by short iron columns. The upper doors to the galleries can still be seen in the walls today.
In 2019 the CHCT awarded a grant of £2,000 towards repairs to the floor and replacement of tiles. The new floor of fossil limestone tiles creates a sense of light and space. More information on our history page here.
To enable us to offer the invaluable assistance for the preservation of our Cornish heritage, we need every church in the Duchy to support and work with us so that we can be there for all in times of need.
To support more projects, we need more funds and your community can help. If each of our 218 parishes could fundraise just £100 a year for CHCT we would have in excess of £20,000 additional funding to offer annually. Find out more here.
Next Community Event
Our Christmas Drinks Party at Boconnoc raised pennies shy of £5,000! Thank you to all who attended or sent donations and to Bonhams and Jonathan Cunliffe for their financial support who together with our volunteer chefs made the event such a success. Diana Treffry won the Christmas hamper and promptly auctioned it off to raise an extra £130 with Johnny Croggan the successful bidder.
A huge thank you to all the communities who raise funds for us. Your support really does make a difference and together we can help to keep Cornish churches & chapels open for future generations.
See recent fundraising results here.
EXPLORE CORNISH CHURCHES
Over the years, CHCT has been encouraging individual parishes to write a local history of their church. This is a short, informative piece and is written by the local parish with the help of our historian and archivist.
Is your local church missing from the archive? Full details of how to send us your information are included in the archive here.
Over the past three years, thanks to Joanna Mattingly, we have been privileged to be addressed by renowned experts on different stages of church architectural development. To date we have worked through the Romanesque, Early English and Decorated periods. In 2021 we hope to move on to Perpendicular period. We have records of the lecture notes from each talk which you can view here.
The annual driveabouts are created by Carole Vivian as a way of discovering 3-4 churches in a day. She writes about the history of the buildings and features to look out for and directs you from one church to another with suggestions for good places to stop for lunch en route. Trails from previous years are available for a donation of £5. Find out more here.