Cornwall Cogitation I-J

Post 12/2022 Saturday 19 March . . . On Friday we attended the service celebrating the life of Terry Trevorrow at St Anta and All Saints Church, Carbis Bay. The Reverend Etienne van Blerk conducted the service. David Tremelling was Organist. We sang the Scottish Psalter version (1650) of the Lord’s Prayer. The last stanza: “Goodness and mercy all my life / Shall surely follow me; / And in God’s house for evermore / My dwelling place shall be.”

With the many who filled the church and those unable to attend, we mourn Terry’s passing, deeply grateful for the part he played in our lives. Rest in peace dear friend Terry.

Tulips we came across on our walk late Friday afternoon. Terry was an avid gardener, mostly vegetables but he and Ann also cultivated a profusion of flowers and trees and shrubs. One time when someone said it was hard to grow trees at the end of the world in Cornwall, Terry responded, “But this is the start of the world.”

Journey through the alphabet, I-J

“I” for Ichthyology. The scientific study of fish. Cornwall is 80 percent surrounded by water, so there must be a fair bit of ichthyology going on here. Certainly, enjoying fish is a Cornwall thing, from fish and chips to all manner of fruits of the sea and land.

For “J” I’ve chosen “jam.” I’m thinking of the wonderful marmalade, made with fine-cut Seville oranges, by Margaret Cartwright. We got a jar some weeks ago at the Coffee Morning Flower Fundraiser at St Anta church. There are no flowers in church during Lent; the lovely hallelujah-worthy bouquets return to church at Easter.

Day out

On Tuesday, Steve and Marilyn Bowden took us for a walk in Penhale Dunes, near Perranporth on the Atlantic coast, to see the remains of St Piran’s Oratory (reputably built in the 5th century) and the second Piran church (built in about 1100), both lost to the shifting sands of the dunes.

St Piran is a patron saint of Cornwall. He was a 5th-century Cornish abbot, of Irish origin. Saint Piran’s Day is celebrated annually on March 5.

On 6 March we attended a service at the third church, the Parish Church of St Piran in the nearby Parish of Perranzabuloe. The church in its three iterations reflects the story of Celtic spirituality that came from Ireland to Cornwall.

St Piran’s Oratory, once buried in the sand, is now protected a by cement block wall, but still subject to flooding. An annual worship service is held there (Oratory refers to a small private chapel). A guide to the church notes: “This church known as St Piran’s Oratory became an important place of pilgrimage situated as it was between Ireland and Brittany.”
When the Oratory became lost in the shifting sands, a second church, in the Norman style, was built a half mile away, in about 1100. It, too, succumbed to a cover of sand.
A large concrete cross on Penhale Sands marks the area where the remains of the second church lie nearby. Much of the stone from the Norman church was used in building the third church two miles inland. Also removed to the third church were three bells, bench ends, Font, parts of the Rood screen, a stone cross and some slate memorials.

The third building is known as the Parish Church of St Piran in the Parish of Perranzabuloe, built at the beginning of the 19th century.

Cross of St Piran Thanksgiving Service

St Piran’s Church, Perranzabuloe, is the location for the annual Cross of St Piran Thanksgiving Service, held March 6, after being canceled last year. The Cross of St Piran is conferred in recognition of outstanding service given by lay people.

This year Marilyn Bowden was a recipient of the Cross in recognition of her far-reaching service and ministry over 10 years with the St Anta congregation. Her commendation stated, “Marilyn is skilled and dedicated, a rare treasure and tireless and completely selfless in her approach and sacrificial service. She does not serve just because she is very conscientious and good, but because she does it ‘as if for the Lord.'”

St Piran’s Church, Perranzabuloe, Diocese of Truro.
Marilyn Bowden, front left, was among the recipients of The Cross of St Piran, given in the afternoon worship service. An evening service followed with additional recipients. Top: The Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen (The Bishop of Truro) and the Rt Revd Hugh Nelson (The Bishop of St Germans).

One recipient, Geoffrey Cox, was noted for his long-standing involvement in running “Open the Book in local primary schools (possibly since Genesis was written!).” Another, Hannah Wicks, among other ministries, “organized a Noah’s Ark festival in 2021 to celebrate the emergence of the animals from lockdown in the ark.”

Signs of hope and gratitude flowed through the service. Bishop Philip spoke of how Christians are to follow Jesus instruction to the disciple Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6). To follow in the footsteps of Jesus, Bishop Philip noted, faithful followers past and present serve as waymarkers, both corporately and individually, stopping people in their tracks, in pointing others to Christ.

Other walks this week

On Monday we walked through fields, farm tracks, narrow roads, and past Trencrom Hill for lunch at The Watermill at Lelant. Invigorating. So good to retrace steps we’ve taken many times before. On the way home we visited Ann Trevorrow. Dear friends, she and her late husband Terry, friends that mean the world to many.

Below the green fields lies the village of Carbis Bay; Godrevy Lighthouse in the distance, looking north.
Along a road next to Trencrom.

Thursday walk

We’ve walked from St Ives to Zennor numerous times, mostly on the field path, since the coastal path is the most challenging in all of the 630-mile-long South West Coast Path. The field path is called the Church Path. It was used during the centuries to carry coffins between church towns for burial in consecrated cemeteries. The six-mile stretch between St Ives and Zennor once had 60 stiles to cross; today there are fewer, but some pose an increasing challenge for us to swing our legs and bodies across. The raised granite stiles provided a rest for those carrying the coffins. We love this path, but are aware we need to allow extra time to negotiate stiles, wet and muddy areas, and photo opportunities, to reach The Tinner’s Arms pub in time for lunch and the bus back. Thankfully, we nicely had enough time. Miles for the day: 8.5. Vistas: endless.

Through fields and farmsteads, the Atlantic to the right, moor hills high to the left.
This farmer ploughed up a field through which the ancient path passes. We helped to mark and smooth the way from stile to stile–something the landowner must provide for. We’re glad to have walked this way many times, or else we’d have been lost a time or two.
Yup, happily enveloped by Gorse.
Mama called, the babies heard and bounded on at speed.
Zennor church, Tinners Arms Pub, some houses, and surrounding farms–including Moomaid Ice cream manufacturing–make up the village.
View across the fields to the sea from the bus.
Field of daffodils.
There’s nothing to hold back this azalea shrub from spreading its brilliant display. A quote from A.J. Balfour: “What a desolate place would be a world without a flower! It would be a face without a smile, a feast without a welcome.”



One thought on “Cornwall Cogitation I-J

  1. Interesting scenery from your spring walk. Seldom do I see animals grazing in the fields. Mud, yes! And the reward, a delicious meal. The countryside looks so interesting. So much history.


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