“Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years… Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart.”
— George Matthew Adams (The Christmas Heart)
As a youth club we generally meet in the Lerryn village hall. However, as we are also a church youth club we have decided to start interacting with the church more. Some members do go to church on Sunday’s but some don’t. So once a month we decided that we would do an evening at the church. This Friday we decided to try our hand at bell ringing.
Thankfully the church bell ringers decided to help! I wouldn’t know where to start! Ian, Bernard, Brian and David all turned out and put on a marvellous show. Ian helped the young people play the hand bells and the rest of the team had fun teaching them the big bells!
The parish church was originally dedicated to Saint Veep, but when it was rebuilt in 1336 it was rededicated to Saint Quiricus and Saint Julietta.
Following the Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549, a number of well-known Cornish figures and priests were murdered or hanged in Cornwall. These included Richard Bennet, vicar of St Veep, under the direct orders of Anthony Kingston, Provost Marshal serving under King Edward VI.
Valuable church silverware, which had been deposited with Lloyds Bank of St Austell and subsequently lost, was rediscovered in 2015 at a storage facility near Glasgow. Items included a communion cup (dated 1579), silver flagon tankard (1737) and a silver plate (1738).
St Cadix’s Priory
A small cell or priory was built by the side of Penpol Creek, today the site is referred to as “St Cadix’s Priory” but it has also appeared as St Ciric, St Carroc, St Cadokys, St Carrett and St Karroc. There is some uncertainty as to which saint the priory was dedicated to; either 6th-century celtic Saint Cadoc or Cyricus son of Saint Julietta, who the parish church is dedicated to. Little remains of the priory today and a farmhouse was built on the site in 1710, but there are some remains of a crucifix and ecclesiastical stones dated at 1150 onwards.
In 1100 the priory was granted to the Benedictine Cluniac Montacute Priory in Somerset by William, Count of Mortain. Before that a small cell or holy well had existed. It remained the priory’s until the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536. For most of its time just one monk and prior lived there. Three priors are known: Robertus (1339), Wilhelmus Smythe (1385) and Laurence Castleton (1536). The cells’ residents included Walter de Exeter who supposedly wrote a biography of Guy of Warwick in 1301.
After dissolution the freehold of the site was granted to Laurence and Dorothy Courtenay on 3 September 1545. They leased it to the Cavells who leased it to Burchard Kranich a German silver smelter and adventurer. Kranich borrowed £500 from Mary Tudor, £150 from William Godolphin and more from several others to build a “melting house” in Lerryn which cost about £300 to build. Later he was lent £300 by Queen Elizabeth I, who ordered the repair of the bridge in Lerryn. Between 1556 and 1583 at least 2,000 ounces of silver were smelted with ore coming from mines in Tregardoke, Padstow, St Delion, Portysyke, Peran and St Columb. Kranich was arrested for his debts and held in the Marshalsea in London. He is credited with curing Queen Elizabeth I of smallpox.
I was born in the ‘swinging sixties’, at least I’m told they were ‘swinging’ I was too young to know! I find it difficult however to think that anything ‘swinging’ happened in the Welsh valley town of Tredegar where I was born in the 60’s! I wonder if the ‘swingy-ness’ of the 60’s is as much an urban myth as the ‘golden era’ of the coal pit? It seems that given time we are capable of romanticising some of the most iconic and yet dark periods of our history. I was two months old when the colliery of Ty Trist made a widow of my grandmother and made my mam fatherless, and yet I still harbour romantic notions of how it must have been!
Mine was a non-conformist upbringing, even though I was the first and only one of my family who went to chapel regularly. I toddled along to Baptist Sunday school at the Chapel at the bottom of our street from the age of 5 or 6 and did so until my wife and I married there in 1986. It was in that Baptist chapel that I was exposed to some of the most memorable fiery preaching ever to come out of Wales. One acclaimed preacher once waxed so lyrical and powerfully about Moses receiving the Ten Commandments that many in the congregation said they could smell the sulphur off the mountain!
Well, that was then and this is now…and I’d like to think I’m still too young to be granted permission to be maudlin down memory lane just yet, even though we the doting Grandparents of a two year old. Linda and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage this autumn, which like any vintage gets better as it gets older…at least that what they tell me! Linda is a community midwife in Falmouth. We have a two children; a daughter of 28 who is a community care support worker and a son of 26, both living in Helston.
We moved to Cornwall in 1997 when I was invited to pastor several Pentecostal churches in the South West of the county. We felt such an affinity with this beautiful Celtic county that when the time came for us to leave 5 years later…we didn’t! Once the decision was made to stay, we found God was gracious in providing us with our own home, new jobs for both Linda and me and the children well settled in their new environment.
In late 2007 I unexpectedly found myself seeking ordination -this time in the surprising and unfamiliar setting of the Church of England. Much to my (and I think if they are honest…everyone else’s amazement) I was recommended for training by the Truro Diocese. After ordination in 2012 I went to serve as curate of the Boscastle with Tintagel group of Churches. This is a rural benefice with many diverse communities and each had a distinctive character. All had beautiful churches to maintain. I also served as a Governor for two primary schools, which I greatly enjoyed. As I look forward to the future, I count it an enormous privilege to be appointed as the Rector of the Lostwithiel Benefice of Parishes, and very much look forward to meeting you all and serving God and the church in this beautiful place.