All Saints Church
Every Sunday at 11am. The first Sunday of the month is a family service with Holy Communion or Morning Prayer on the remaining Sundays.
Rector: Revd Canon Marion Barrett
Tel: 01726 72679
Churchwarden: Mrs B Musgrave – Tel: 01726 842239
Hon Secretary: Mrs K Lobb – Tel: 01726 842159
Hon Treasurer: Mr R Elliott – Tel: 01726 844068
The Tower and Spire: Monthly parish magazine with community news and events, local services and businesses
E-mail the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
For the directory and plan of the graveyard please click here.
A Brief History of the Church
All Saints Church stands in the village centre near to the large 15th century cross base. It is set on a sloping site surrounded on three sides by a narrow ‘moat’. Some of the original Norman stonework remains in the lower courses of the north wall of the chancel and nave together with the font on its substantial central column with defaced carved heads above the corner pillars.
The north porch may have been constructed in the 14th century, or the early to mid-15th century when the south aisle was probably built. The roof timbers remain but it was partly rebuilt in the 19th century. Also 14th century, and maybe part even a little earlier, is the two stage stone tower with a narrow west window, louvred openings and a broached octagonal spire with quatrefoil string course. The tower is known to bell ringers for its light peal of six bells (8cwt tenor) set vertically in three pairs above a very ‘cosy’ ringing chamber. The south aisle has a very fine wagon roof with a series of excellent bosses and floral decoration to the ribs above the Lady Chapel. Later in the 15th century the south porch was built but this is now only opened at weddings and funerals.
Major structural changes made in the late 19th century included remodelling the chancel, some re-roofing and replacement of many windows, as can be seen in a watercolour in the church showing the original south elevation with its larger windows.
The most arresting feature internally is the medieval rood screen, which now separates the nave from the chancel, but it was not always so. It is thought that it was originally set across the south aisle but, following destruction of the chancel screen, this section was placed across the transept arch by the Tredenham family around the time of Cromwell as they owned the transept. In the mid 19th century the screen was transferred to its current position which necessitated the addition of an extra bay on each side, giving three bays to both sides of the central double doors to fit the wider space. The pillars and cornice are deeply carved with an exotic range of real and mythical characters and intertwining foliage; a green man keeps an eye on proceedings on the chancel side. The screen now has a polished wood finish giving really no indication of the glorious red and gold decoration which was still evident on the doors in 1800.
In the aisle floor there is a slate memorial bearing the coat of arms of the Tremayne family, squires of Heligan since 1513, showing three hands (tres mains) – a French pun on the family name.
A copy of the 1676 seating plan for the box pews survives but not the pews themselves; all that remains are the ends of three pews and some mouldings which surround the pulpit. At least the 19th century pews still exist and they have defied the modern practice of replacing them with chairs, a reassuring sight for traditional church visitors.
As you come out of the north porch you will see the St Ewe camellia; a variety bred at Caerhays Castle and a mass of pink blooms, normally blooming in time for Christmas. The war memorial by the front path is slightly askew on its base having been nudged by a car with a faulty handbrake which ran through the narrow gate posts and came to rest against it about 25 year ago.
In 1959 it pleased the Bishop of Truro to be able to install Rev John Rham (pronounced ram) as the rector of St Ewe!