We were warmly welcomed to St Gerrans on the Roseland by Revd Jill Edwards and treated to an inspiring talk by Dr Stuart Blaylock on 13th century architecture in Cornish churches. This is a period well known to be lean on complete examples in our region, but Stuart was able to piece together the progress from the Romanesque period through to the beginning of the Decorated period showing us what remains there are in several churches. He also illustrated how the church morphed in design from each of the bookend periods at either end of the 13th century. Gerrans proved to be an excellent example of what still survives with a triple lancet window in the 13th century north transept, and two single lancets in the north wall (now kitchen area. There is also a Purbeck marble font with arcade designs of probable 1200s date and a coffin-shaped tomb slab of the 13th or early 14th century.
Examples from outside of the county had to be drawn on but the very best example here in Cornwall of Early English architecture was three miles down the road at St Anthony in Roseland. The 2017 lunch had been held at Place House which is attached to this church and this was where Dr Jo Mattingly had pointed out the crucifix plan and high-quality carvings of foliage, corbel heads of kings and bearded men adorning the crossing below the 13th Century Tower.
We were blessed again with a lovely day for our visit to St Uny and St Erth on Thursday 14th June. We had a warm welcome from John Culver and the Churchwardens Keith and Andy at St Uny. They had kindly arranged for refreshments to be made available in the delightful community room which had previously been the Methodist Chapel for the burial ground. The refurbishment had resulted in a lovely room, filled with local items of interest and which is frequented by both locals and tourists. So good to see a redundant building put to good use. Dr Joanna Mattingley had kindly agreed to talk to us about the history of the Church following a most interesting introduction from John. At our Annual Meeting in 2017 we began our theme of Romanesque church architecture, St Uny Church has a wonderful Norman Arch which was highlighted. There are significant links between St Uny and St Erth and we were well prepared for our next visit. It was a great pleasure to have Michael Swift with us, who specializes in stained glass, and he “talked us through” the very interesting windows at St Uny. We are so fortunate to have such knowledgeable people in our membership that can share things with us and make sure we do not miss anything when visiting these lovely buildings. There are several windows of considerable interest, so well worth a visit if you were unable to join us.
We continued our afternoon at St Erth where we were welcomed by Janice the Churchwarden. Another fascinating Church, sharing the same design for the South Porch as St Uny. There were two beautiful gable windows giving special light within the Chancel. David Scott spoke to us about the Sedding restoration within the Churches, highlighting key features to look out for which were indications of who would have carried out the Victorian Restorations. In the past the Altar had to be approached via a bridge as the Chancel floor had been under water. You will be pleased to know that this is no longer the case! Jo Mattingley shared some of the records of the Wills with us and highlighted the local families and their involvement within the Church from the past. Michael Swift also drew our attention to the wonderful carvings done by the Pinwill sisters. The work of the Pinwill Sisters is most interesting and well worth exploring further. There are many examples of their work in Devon and Cornwall.
The afternoon concluded with a tea enjoyed by all in the adjacent hall, which had been recently refurbished providing an excellent venue.
To coincide with the 70th Birthday of The Prince of Wales, the CHCT was invited to a Reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the work of His Royal Highness’s Patronages and Charities. Simon Coy, Philip Willoughby, Susie Gore and Dolly Scott were nominated to go and enjoyed a marvellous afternoon with perfect garden party weather and the most delicious tea. Along with the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall were the newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex; a happy afternoon was had by all in the magnificent setting of the Palace gardens.
Our Annual Luncheon was generously sponsored this year by the Nare Hotel and was held on 11th May at Ince Castle thanks to the very kind invitation of Viscount and Viscountess Boyd. Our warmest thanks go to them for so generously hosting the party in this wonderful setting, which lent itself ideally to the occasion and also provided an opportunity for any who wished to explore and enjoy the beautiful garden at its best. The, now legendary, lunch produced by the Committee and helpers, more than lived up to its reputation and was much enjoyed by all.
It takes many people to ensure our Annual Christmas Party is an enjoyable social event as well as a financial success for the CHCT. This year’s Party took place in the beautiful surroundings of Scorrier House. We are truly grateful to Richard and Caroline Williams for again welcoming us into their home. Thanks also to Ally Bolitho, who ‘decked the halls’ with her splendid wreaths to add a festive touch to the surroundings. The Party owes much of its success to Savills for once again sponsoring the Event. Our gratitude also goes to Savills and their staff for so kindly providing support to the Committee throughout the evening. The Events Committee, headed by Susie Gore, generously prepared a delicious assortment of canapés, which were served by an energetic group of young party-goers. Every room was filled to capacity with happy guests until the very end, when they were bid farewell with a mince pie from Father Christmas. Many thanks to everyone who attended and those supporters who couldn’t attend, but generously donated. Thanks to everyone involved, the Party was a great success and raised over £7,000 for the Cornwall Historic Churches Trust.
Savills team with the CHCT Chairman, Caroline Tetley. (l-r) Piers Owen, Anna Sharp, Emma Trelawny, Caroline Tetley, Ben Davies and David Jenkin.
(l-r) Alice Randle and Rosey Fergusson-Taylor of Savills offering champagne to the guests.
Charles and Sue Ferguson.
Gee Ashworth helps her grand-father, John Ashworth, winner of one of the main raffle prizes.
One of the party-goers receives a mince pie from Father Christmas on departure.