Altar Frontal


All Seasons is the title of the wonderful altar frontal designed and worked by Miss Nora Sheer for the altar in the Lady Chapel of St Tudy Church. It is dedicated to the children of the village school where Miss Sheer taught for many years until her retirement in 1986.


‘This Altar Frontal is dedicated to the children of St Tudy School, with whom I spent the last twenty-four years of my working career; as their teacher.

It has been made as a thank you to my parents for their help and encouragement in all I have tried to do and especially my Mum who taught me to sew and left me a legacy of pieces of material which started me on the way to becoming a quilt artist.  Also thanks are due to my brother for all the help he gives; and the ladies of the village who asked me to teach them how to do patchwork.  Without their interest I would not have studied the craft in so much detail or accumulated such a wonderful selection of materials.  Very special thanks to the artists who designed these beautiful materials.  

Thank you Rev. Margaret for asking me to make this cloth and the people of St Tudy for recommending my work.  It has been a wonderful experience of joy and love.’


 Miss Sheer kept a diary from the day Rev. Margaret asked her if she would undertake this project (19th July 2002) until the day the final stitch was put in, (9th October 2003) a task that took 15 months. The diary has been made into a booklet and a copy is available for all to read in the Lady Chapel.


Bellringers Wanted


St. Tudy’s bellringers are available for all the church services, weddings, funerals etc. And on New Years Eve they always ring in the New Year.   The team consists of seven men and one woman

Every Monday evening the ringers practice at the parish church and by prior arrangement they also ring the bells at St. Mabyn, St. Breward and Blisland churches.

Every year there is an annual trip around Cornwall when they ring at six different towers in one day.  They have even rung the bells on Lundy Island.  The money received for ringing bells at weddings etc funds these trips. 

There were only 4 bells until 1751 when Abel Rudhall cast 5 bells at Gloucester.  A treble bell was added in 1923 and all the bells were re-hung in 1934 and again in 1974.


Roof Appeal


The beautiful grade I listed church of St Tudy was built in the 15th century and extensively repaired and reordered in the 1830’s, 1873 & 1888. The organ was installed in 1892 and in 1894 the plaster was removed from the internal walls and the stonework was re-pointed. The pitch pine pews in the church today were installed in 1873 and the old oak pews were taken out into the churchyard reputably to be burnt. William Lower of Tregreenwell saw them and is said to have paid the workmen one sovereign for them and he then had them installed in Michaelstow Church and they are there to this day. 

Many visitors who record their sentiments in our Visitor’s Book remark upon the peaceful atmosphere and beautiful condition within the Church, and now there is another small area to enjoy. What was once a ‘glory hole’ on the left hand side of the organ where various pieces of church paraphernalia were stored has been re-dedicated as a Lady Chapel. The current priest-in-charge, the Reverend Margaret Millson was told by an archivist that this was probably a Lady Chapel in the past so she decided to re-instate it. Funds for the refurbishment were raised and on Advent Sunday 2002 the Chapel was re-dedicated and a couple of weeks later Bishop Bill consecrated the new altar, made by a local carpenter Phil Tizzard in thanksgiving for all the help given to him after the tragic fire at his forge in May 2002. The Chapel is a lovely peaceful area, separated from the main church by a screen, and it is hoped that it will be well used, not only for small services, but by individuals who want to sit quietly and perhaps remember loved ones as this is also a Chapel of Remembrance. In the chapel is a Book of Remembrance which contains photographs of people and events to be remembered, not only pictures of those we have lost, but also pictures of happy events such as special birthdays, wedding anniversaries etc

“St Tudy Church - a Grade I listed building - lies within the original Celtic circular churchyard (God’s Acre).  The families of many historical figures have worshipped here, including the Lower family (Richard Lower 1630-1691 performed the very first blood transfusion) and Vice Admiral William Bligh (1754-1817, born at Tinten Manor). The Christian faith has been preached here since four centuries after the crucifixion.  First from a ‘Preaching Cross’, then from a 6th century wooden church, replaced by a Norman church in the 12th century, rebuilt later in the 14th century, as it is today, with some of the original stones. If there is such a place as Holy and Hallowed ground, as we believe, then surely by its usage over fifteen centuries and by the unseen presence of the souls of the many hundreds who lie within this little plot, this small oasis of calm and the old church within it deserve to be preserved for future generations. Or so we believe, as we dedicate ourselves to finding the wherewithal to replace (those parts of) the roof last repaired by our predecessors nearly two centuries ago.”


 Whilst local fund raising has enabled temporary repairs to have been made when periodic problems have arisen, as a Parish we are now confronted with an Architect’s Report, detailing major defects costing some £40,000 to rectify.  This is a very heavy burden on such a small community and it is quite plain that outside help from charitable donors is needed to meet the cost.  A committee has been formed with representation across the village, including the Methodist Church, to raise what we can, from wherever we can, towards the cost. 


We therefore intend, after Christmas to establish a series of village fund raising activities, but even the optimists among us do not suggest that these could ever raise the amount required as the increasingly stormy months take their toll.  There are many organisations which do not in themselves represent a Church orientated commitment, there are, however, few which would actively wish to see the ancient silhouettes of local church architecture disappear from the countryside.  These churches and chapels represent a well-loved and familiar reminder of the history of our villages and communities, apart from the beauty of their just being there.  


If you have any connection with St Tudy may we appeal to you for help? Any contribution, however small, will be most gratefully received.  Details of how to contribute can be obtained by emailing suedibble@tiscali.co.uk   please put Roof Appeal in the subject box.


Morning really did gild the sky on Saturday 14th January.  The sun was shining, spring flowers bursting into life and a repaired roof, what more could we ask for.  About 80 people attended the service led by Rev. Margaret and we were delighted that Archdeacon Clive Cohen and his wife were able to come and also Rev. Raymond Wood.  There were representatives from the architects, builders and some of the bodies from whom we received grants, including Mrs Priscilla Hext from the Cornwall Historic Churches Trust. Ray Shaddick, made the journey from Bude to represent Radio Cornwall.   How wonderful it was to hear the congregation singing their hearts out to the eight chosen hymns, including one especially written for the service by Lady Le Bailly. 


Archdeacon Cohen was asked to cut the first slice of the Celebration Cake made by Lady Le Bailly and beautifully decorated by Dianne Bartlett and everyone then enjoyed a piece along with a glass of sherry.  Unfortunately some of our invited guests were unable to come, several due to illness, but they will still be able to hear the service as it was  recorded. We were very fortunate that Gary Pearce, a free lance recording technician who does a lot of the outside broadcasts for Radio Cornwall, was able to help us out by making a recording of the service (free of charge).  


The Roof Fund Committee would like to thank, for the very last time, everyone who has helped in any way, by giving their time, expertise and their money!


The Clink


On the north side of the churchyard, in the centre of the village by the horse chestnut tree, stands the rectangular 17th Century building of stone rubble with a rag slate roof, known as the “Clink”.  Originally a church ale house, it was later the local constable’s lock-up in the days when the churchwardens were responsible for such functions, and inside is a notice board formerly on the outside wall, warning vagrants that they are not welcome!


Later it was a Dame School when children had to bring a 1d and a lump of coal.  When the new school was built, the Clink was used as a night school and village meeting room.  The Royal Order of Buffaloes and Art Society have used the upper room, with its attractive barrel ceiling, and the ground floor is regularly used for community functions and coffee mornings when many thousands of pounds have been raised for charitable causes.


Owned by the Rector and Churchwardens it was fully restored in 1986.  The high quality of the restoration work (by builder Gary Keat under the direction of architect John Tanner, both parishioners) earned a Commendation from the Cornish Building Group.  In 1999 the Clink was re-roofed by Gary and Graham Keat.



On the 8th of January 1841 Samuel Cowling was found guilty of stealing a live duck, the property of Mr Joseph Rounseville a Farmer of the Parish. The West Briton reported on the case and stated that "The idenity of the duck was proved by a perculiar deformity; and it having died since it had been given into the constables charge, that very careful officer produced it in court, preserved in a glass case, for the inspection of the jury. The Verdict in the Case was Guilty.

The other thing you must be aware of is the way they keep gunpowder in the village. We normally have a fireworks display but the West Briton reported that "on the evening of the 27th of December 1832 Mr Wright, a shopkeeper of St Tudy, was weighing some gunpowder, from a barrel for a customer, a spark from a candle fell on some loose grains on the counter, which communicated to the barrel, when the whole instantly exploded and blew up the roof and walls of his house. Mr Wright was so dreadfully scorched that his recovery is considered doubtful. His two children were most providently saved by one of the girders falling across the bed in which they were, and protected them. 

The following extracts are taken from The Binding Stone - Memories of St Tudy 1900-2000 (available to purchase at St Tudy Post Office).

Bertha Keat says the Clink was a chemist shop, run by Mr Titheridge.

Gerald Wilton recalls the Clink being used as the surgery when patients had to wait outside.

Erica Nicholls can remember having teeth extracted by Mr Whattley, the dentist, at the Clink.  Port Isaac doctors used the Clink for a short time before they moved to the wooden hut which had been the office for Mr Mutton, the auctioneer.


The Organ


The present instrument made by Brewer of Taunton in the last years of the 19th century is in urgent need of restoration and although some work was carried out to it a few years ago, that did not address the essential problems of an extremely heavy action and poor quality pipe work.  The Diocesan Organ Adviser concluded on inspection that `the existing instrument is unremarkable ....the action is heavy and sometimes sluggish


and is tiring to play ....even after only a few minutes'.  The Organ Adviser supported the project to rebuild the instrument with modern playing aids as proposed by the organ builder asked to present a scheme for the work.  The present organist at the Parish Church, Dr. Geoffrey Gibbons, was able to obtain at no cost, (subject to being responsible for the cost of its removal and transportation to St. Tudy), a very good small instrument with which he was already familiar, from the redundant church of St. Francis, Solihull in the West Midlands. That instrument currently resides in his garage and in a disused piggery. The former organist of Hereford Cathedral, Dr. Roy Massey, who had also played this small organ, describes it as `an excellent small instrument and one well worth preserving'.


Following the successful conclusion of the appeal to secure £50,000 to complete urgent repairs to the church roof, a further appeal has now been launched to raise the £23,000 necessary to rebuild the organ by using the best parts of the two instruments. The scheme proposed by David Gridley of Penzance, has been accepted and work has now commenced, and it is hoped will be completed by October 2006.


The specification for the new organ will show an increase in the number of stops from the present nine to a total of sixteen, with seven on the Great manual, six on the Swell plus sub and super octaves, and three in the Pedal department.  The rebuilt organ will contain nearly 1,050 pipes ranging in length from three inches to 8 feet, with new electric action, and three reversible thumb and toe pistons. Full particulars of the specification are available on request from the organist Dr. Geoffrey Gibbons at 4, Chestnut Close, St. Tudy, PL30 3AT, (851267)

The Diocese of Truro granted a Faculty to St. Tudy Church to proceed with the planned rebuild, and by the end of 2005, sums to the amount of £10,000 had been received.  Donations of any amount from any source would be most welcome and can be sent to the organist at the address below. Various money-raising events are planned for 2006 including a Concert by the Allen Valley Singers, an Organ Recital by Peter Dyke, Deputy Organist at Hereford Cathedral, and an Auction Sale of anything saleable, to be conducted by Andrew Jefferys of Webbers in the early summer.

 The hard work now begins and the remainder of the money required (£12,000) has to be found in increments of £2,000 a month by the end of October next.Beautiful music can be heard once again in the lovely church of St Tudy.  On Friday 27th October at 7pm, a service was held to dedicate the newly built organ.  This wonderful instrument was built by David Gridley of Penzance, using parts from both the original instrument and an organ from the redundant church of St Francis in Solihull which was gifted to Dr. Geoffrey Gibbons, organist at St Tudy Church, by the Rector of Solihull.  Dr. Gibbons and his wife Hazel had the unenviable task of raising in excess of £27,000 to cover the cost of the re-build which they have done in under a year.  This is a marvellous achievement as the parishioners of St Tudy had  raised over £50,000 the previous year, to repair the church roof.  The church was full to capacity and the service was led by Priest in Charge the Rev. Margaret Millson, during which she was re-licensed by the Bishop of Truro, the Right Rev. William Ind. The address was given by the  Rev. Dr. Robin Gibbons (nephew of Geoffrey Gibbons) assistant Parish Priest for the Eastern Rite Catholics in London, prayers were led by the Rev. John Bradford, Hon. Chaplain of the Estate Chapel of St. James, Great Packington, who also had preached at the church of St Francis in Solihull.  Ms Zoe Ray enchanted the congregation by singing ‘Make me a channel of your Peace’.  After the service superb refreshments were served in St Tudy Village Hall and presentations were made to Dr & Mrs Gibbons and Bishop Bill by Rev. Margaret and her granddaughter, Charlotte Oatridge.   A magnificent cake in the shape of an organ made and decorated by Mrs Pat Hall of Trevone was then cut by Dr & Mrs Gibbons.