|Welcome to St Sampson’s Church Golant!|
We are an active congregation with Services every Sunday (see below for this month’s Services) and a quiet, said Evening Prayer at 6 pm every Thursday evening.
We are blessed with a very talented little choir which practices every Thursday evening at 7.30 pm in Church and leads our worship on the 2nd and 4th Sundays. The choir really comes into its own for special Services such as Advent, Christmas and Easter.
In addition we have a small ring of 5 bells which are rung before the morning Services (ie 3 x a month). Practice is on a Monday night. Newcomers to both choir and bell ringers are VERY welcome! No previous experience necessary! Contact Church wardens: Carol White or Greg White in the village.
FOR DATES AND TIMES OF SERVICES PLEASE GO TO THE 'WHATS ON' PAGE
Fowey Parish Church
A warm welcome awaits you at St Sampson's Church every Sunday.
Morning Services are followed by coffee and refreshments
News from St Sampson's Church
Philip, our vicar, was booked to undergo an operation for diverticulitis at the end of September but it has been postponed due to the surgeon having a very nasty accident when playing in the garden with his children. Amongst other injuries, the poor chap sustained a broken neck. As a result, Philip will now be on sick leave from the end of October until Christmas Eve. Our curate, the Revd Nick Widdows, is a deacon so he is not able to take the service of Holy Communion. We are fortunate that some retired clergy have agreed to step in to take our services during Philip's recuperation.
Every church has to be surveyed every five years. It was, therefore, with some dread that we recently awaited the result of the Quinquennial Survey. Good news: there were sighs of relief at the PCC meeting. Of course there are always faults with buildings. We need only look at our houses, after all. There is woodwork in the tower which needs woodworm treatment and an iron fitting which requires anti-rust paint. There are suggestions for more major items in the church but these are not considered to be urgent or vital. Our thanks to Greg & Penny White who have already been to clear the culvert on the north side of the building as highlighted in the survey— not the most pleasant job in the world!
We have experienced a few problems with the electrics
and these are being investigated. The old circuit to the
organ had to be replaced due to a fault in the actual wir-
ing. The automatic lights outside and inside the toilet,
and the lights along the paths are not working but will be
repaired at any time. The boiler has gone into lockout. We
hope that we won't have a repeat of last winter's prob-
lems when a fault was found in the feed from the storage
tank and we all felt the cold at times...
There have been many visitors to the church during the holiday period and the visitors' book is full of kind comments. A few have taken the opportunity to sit quietly in the church and contemplate in the peace & silence which is difficult to find in this age. Many take advantage of the various unique items which are on sale. Others have arrived from a variety of countries; some have been seeking information about their ancestors, visiting where their grandparents were married and so on. One visitor from Devon very kindly presented the church with a half sovereign— a generous gift indeed (perhaps worth £140)!
A beautiful tablet has just been put in place to mark the spot where the ashes of Jane Gregory are interred. The distinguished sculptor, Philip Chatfield, created this apt memorial. The engravings feature Jane's beloved horse surrounded by a favourite family dog, the sun, a camellia and, of course, the Olympic rings as well as a suitable inscription. The very thick piece of Welsh slate is extremely heavy and I was relieved to see that Ted Luck had been called in to help Philip carry the slate from the car. Do look for the tablet in the interment area to the left of the porch. Philip was also responsible for the gravestone marking the burial place of Diana Luck. It's worth a look on the web ('Google' Philip Chatfield sculptor) to view his work, which is to be found all over the country, including the beautiful church with the bent steeple at St Enodoc.
On opening the door to the church, one's reaction is to say, "Wow!" The flower arrangers have been at it again! It really is worth popping in to view the results of all their efforts. I love especially to see all the garden flowers.
The heating system was repaired on the day before the Harvest Thanksgiving Service when it ran successfully for over two hours. Alas, on the morning of the service, the boiler went into lockout and a chilly church was the result. But, in spite of the chill, the congregation set to with some good lusty, blood warming singing of the traditional seasonal hymns.
A variety of offerings were taken up to be laid on the altar by Beth and Abi Whell & Laura and Maria Cook. These gifts represented soil, seed, grain, animal produce, fruit, vegetables & fruit crops, flowers & vineyards, bread & resourcefulness. The latter gift was a symbol of knowledge and invention. Each gift was received with prayers and responses led by various members of the congregation from all parts of the church.
The Harvest Supper took place on the next day, October 1st, in the Village Hall. Over fifty people met to enjoy a delicious meal prepared by a team of parishioners.
Philip de Grey-Warter auctioned an array of gifts ranging from his homemade Vicarage Bread to bottles of champagne, Pimrns & wine, dahlia plants, boxes of vegetables, cider apple jelly & chutneys and a large tray of mushrooms. Diners responded with very generous bids. The event raised around £554. A minimum of 20% (always rounded upwards!) plus the collection taken at the Sunday service will be given to the St Petroc's Society, which will help their cause of caring for the single homeless in Cornwall. MGH
News from St Sampson's Church The flower arrangers in the church never cease to amaze me! The displays they produce at festivals are always wonderful but on Easter Day they really excelled themselves. Word soon got around. Within half an hour of the service ending, people were turning up to see the floral arrangements. Over the succeeding days there were many visitors. "Wow!" was a common reaction when they entered the church.
The service on Easter Day was very well attended and it was really great to see so many families with young chil-dren. We had decided to shorten the service by not singing the normal setting. We know from experience that keeping very young ones content in a strange environ-
Some observers of the church building thought we had had a break in recently because part of a window in the south aisle had been boarded up. In fact, it was a sign of preparatory work to improve ventilation. Two small opening windows are now in place, one by the main altar (south) and the other by the organ console (north). This is designed to provide a gentle, steady flow of air to help the fabric of the building.
Successive quinquennial surveys & the requirements of English Heritage when allotting grants for the restoration over ten years ago, highlighted the need for such opening windows. It featured in the long list submitted by English Heritage in the late 1990s. That list divided all the problems into three time scales. For example, the south facing roof had to be dealt with urgently. The ventilation windows were to be actioned in the long term. The original plan was for the vents to be on opposite sides of the church at the east end. But, in the main, that would have only ventilated that part of the building. The organ builder was delighted to support the action that has been taken, as condensation is a perennial problem within such instruments. When drizzle falls outside, conditions on our granite floors can be treacherous. The porch floor and the one leading to the organ almost run with water. The moisture produced eventually begins to affect the fabric inside. Last year, with its damp summer, the smell of mould was apparent on many occasions. The opening vents (with built in bird & bat guards), together with other work which is about to start with extra ventilation in the tower, should help to reduce the detrimental affects of condensation.
It's amazing how many people leave the door open when they enter or leave the church. We have a bead curtain in place and a notice warning about swallows flying into the building. Unfortunately, one got in recently. Both Gillie & I went along during the day but were unsuccessful in our efforts to get the poor creature out. It's not an easy task. Usually they are very lively for a few hours & then weaken enough so that they can be caught and taken outside. In this case, I'm afraid it died quite quickly. Please- shut that door!
I mentioned in the last issue that a few things had gone missing from out goods on sale in recent months. During all the years that we have left things on trust, we have lost only a couple of tea towels and, maybe, the odd card. I am afraid that things have changed recently. Eighteen cards were not paid for on one day plus other goods totalling more than £20. Also, tea & coffee has been taken from a cupboard in the kitchen area. Please- can we all keep our eyes open for anything suspicious.
Anno Domini does catch all of us up eventually and it's certainly true in my case! For that reason, I decided at the beginning of 2011 that I could not carry on directing the choir. In fact, my last Sunday will be on July 23rd when we celebrate the feast of St Sampson. I shall continue to play for any other services as required. I shall miss all my interaction with choir members greatly & wish to thank them for all their hard work & patience. I hope that I shall still have opportunities to work with them on other musical ventures in the future. Sheila Funnell will be leading the choir from September onwards; the Revd James Funnell will be playing for one of the two choral services each month.
The churchyard this year has been a rich source of interest to all those who love flowers. The double lady's smocks were particularly fine though, as lovers of moist, marshy conditions, the dry weather curtailed their display somewhat. Last year, in deference to those who hate to see plants going to seed, I was tempted to cut the area along the side of the path early, & observers may have noticed that the lady's smocks were not as plentiful in that area this year. I had failed to let them set seed for long enough. Steimming the whole churchyard will be taking place soon though! The plant debris will be left to lie & dry for at least three days to enable the seeds to fall on to the ground before being raked up. Plus: Mullein (Aaron's rod) is beginning to spread from the lower to the middle churchyard. Minus: I still have to use weed killer to lessen the numbers of hogweed, the juice of which can lead to skin problems when strim-ming- it flies everywhere! MGH
Philip de Grey-Warter
Vicar of Fowey & Golant
The Vicarage, Fowey
Cornwall PL23 1BU
01726 83 35 35
The Church in late autumn viewed from the South
Cornwall has more saints than any other county! Saint Sampson is the only one whose life was recorded in some detail (Vita Saint Sampson c610-615AD). Many of the Cornish saints and others who travelled to Brittany and beyond landed from Ireland but mainly from Wales somewhere on the north coast of Cornwall and walked the " Saints Way" from north to south often stopping on the way to attempt to convert the heathen to Christianity. (The Saints Way from Padstow to Fowey via Golant is a popular route for walkers today who frequently make reference to their journey in the visitors book in the Church). St Sampson stayed sometimes in Golant and legends about him are depicted in some stained glass in the Church. He later travelled to Brittany ( see picture below taken from window by organ ) and eventually became Archbishop of Dol and the chief of the Seven Saints of that province.
Water flows continually into his Holy Well near the entrance porch which is sheltered by a rude arch of stonework, apparently of great antiquity; the water drawn from the well is still used today for baptisms.
The church has a star rating in Simon Jenkins book 'Englands Thousand Best Churches' which he describes as 'warm and welcoming'. Both the nave and south aisle have beautiful wagon roofs and are divided by clustered arcading. (since the book was published the plaster ceiling in the nave has been reinstated). Three granite arches in the nave are thought to be the remains of the original oratory. The pulpit, reading desk, bishops chair and a screen are superb examples of early 16th century carving depicting Saints and coats of arms of local families. A restoration and some rebuilding took place in 1842 at a cost of £534 when the screen which formed the chapel and the chancel at the east end was removed. The organ was installed about 10 years ago in 1992 and is a hybrid using some of the pipes from the two organs which were originally in St Michaels Church, Newquay during the 20th century. On the north wall is a huge coat of arms of James II in recognition of the Royalist sympathies which existed in this part of the county. The building is faced with granite and the battlement two stage tower is of the same material.
The stained glass is relatively modern except for two small portraits in medieval glass(St Sampson and St Anthony) in the north wall by the nave altar. Sir John Betjeman judged the pews in the nave to be the most uncomfortable in Cornwall!
Some of the real life drama of the love triangle of King Mark, Princess Isult(Isolde) to whom he was betrothed and his nephew, Tristan, was played out in the area and it is recorded that Isult attended the church and gave her wedding dress to be made into a priest's chasuble.
The South Aisle East Window
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