Welcome to Cornwall Historic Churches Trust
CHURCH OF THE MONTH
St Mary's Biscovey
St Mary's church stands on a hilltop overlooking the gardens of Tregrehan House, which seems appropriate as the church is built on land given by Edward Carlyon, the owner of Tregrehan, in 1847. The new parish of Par was carved out of existing parishes of St Blazey and Tywardreath in 1846. The church was built at the behest of Rev. George Prynne, the first vicar of Par. Prynne was a major figure in the Anglo-Catholic movement, and wanted a new church that reflected his values. In an act of faith, he appointed the 22 year-old G E Street as architect: St Mary’s was Street’s maiden church design, the first of hundreds and arguably one of the most successful. The new church was consecrated on 1 November 1849. It is built from local Biscovey slate quarried near the site. The quoins are of Pentewan stone from Mevagissey, and the style is very much a homage to 14th century Gothic. The most obvious feature is the striking west tower, topped with a broach spire, possibly inspired by Lostwithiel or Cubert. The church is laid out on a very simple plan, with a nave, chancel, and south aisle of three bays. Each section of the church has its own gabled roof. The south porch was added around 1886. The altar, pulpit, and font were also designed by GE Street. The high altar was moved into the south aisle in 2000. Near the south chancel door stands, an early Christian cross shaft known as The Biscovey Stone. The central section of the shaft is carved with traditional Celtic interleave patterns. Further away from the church is the Biscovey Cross, a late medieval wayside cross.
The CHCT granted £1,700 towards the repairs to the tower completed in spring 2020 seen here looking beautiful in the sun. Last month parishioners donated a substantial sum to us! See https://www.chct.info/community-champions/pop-up-stalls-at-st-marys-biscovey-and-good-shepherd-church-par/ for the full story.
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 CHCT Event
Christmas Party 22nd December 2021
Our Christmas Party is back!
Thanks to Mr and Mrs Richard Williams our Christmas Drinks Party will be held at Scorrier House from 6.30 – 8.30pm. If for any reason we have to cancel, all tickets will be transferable to 2022. We will require either an email address or telephone number so that in the event of cancellation we will be able to give you ample warning. If the Covid risk situation still looks uncertain in December, we might have to ask attendees to take a lateral flow test before coming to the party.
Next Community Event
We do not have any details of community fundraising events at the moment but will post them here as soon as they come in.
Savills have sponsored the Christmas Party since its inception in 2006 and continued their support despite us having to cancel the event in 2020, like all others, due to Covid. Our heartfelt thanks to them and also to all those who responded to the "non-invitation" with donations totalling in excess of £4,000. Thank you one and all.
A huge thank you to all the communities who raised funds for us last year. 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.