Wednesday, 12 November 2008


EVERYONE is being invited to a huge celebration in St Mabyn on Sunday to commemorate the completion of the church roof repairs.
For the past 20 years the village community has pulled together to help raise funds for the restoration appeal for the medieval church.
It was completed in two phases. Phase one began in 1988 and phase two began two years ago when an extra £75,000 was needed to complete the project.
The Bishop of Truro, one of the patrons of the appeal, has now retired, so on Sunday the Archdeacon of Bodmin, Clive Cohen will officiate at the Patronal Festival at 11am and consecrate a plaque, made of local slate, commemorating the 20 years of effort to repair this historic landmark.
The service will be followed by luncheon in the Village Hall at noon where Sir David Brewer, the other patron, whose family has long-standing links with the parish, will attend to meet the many workers and supporters.
He said: "This has been a marvellous effort and I look forward to meeting all those able to attend. I hope that everyone who has supported, or donated in any way, will come along and enjoy the celebrations."
Appeal chairman Abigail Kirby-Harris said: "We are all looking forward to Sunday when we feel that we can sign off this enormous project, and also thank the many who have made its success possible.
"There is still room for a few names on the 'slate' picture we have to record the names of all benefactors, so if anyone would like to do so before it goes off for framing, please come along on Sunday and do so."

Monday, 1 September 2008

St Mabyn Celebrates!

"Celebrations" was the title chosen for the three day festival of flowers and crafts held in St Mabyn Parish Church as the village has had a lot to celebrate this year. The two year project to raise funds for the restoration of the medieval parish church is coming to a successful close, the Scouts are nearing completion of the extension to their hut, providing proper toilet faculties, the Pre-School is now holding five morning sessions per week and the Post Office will not be closed - good news indeed!.
Organised by the Friends of St Mabyn the church offered a stunning display of floral art, and intricate and beautiful crafts as well as refreshments for visitors who came from far and wide. The evening of the first day ended with a hilarious "duck race" at Hellandbridge followed by a barbecue at Menkee, home of Friends Chairman Liz Williams, where a cheque for £20,000 was presented to Appeal Chairman Abigail Kirby-Harris.. Commented Liz, "the Friends was formed mainly to help with the costs of the maintenance of this much-loved building and our membership is drawn from a very wide area, mainly people who aren't able to attend services regularly but who wish to contribute, but the need to repair the roof has had to take precedence"
Friends' Treasurer Carol Grigg organised the teams who mounted the displays, which depicted personal and religious celebrations - baptism, confirmation, wedding and graduation, and also Christmas, Easter and Whitsun. The garden of Churchwarden John Lobb, Chairman of St Mabyn Garden Club provided the wonderful selection of fruits and vegetables arranged round the font, to depict "harvest" and also the swags of grapes which adorned the entrance gates to the porch. Postmistress Laura Brown sponsored a striking display in celebration of the Post Office - truly the heart of the village.
The Deanery Choir, under the leadership of Peter Meanwell and accompanied by Andrew Millington led the Songs of Praise on Saturday evening, with hymns chosen by members of the congregation and the whole Festival concluded with a choral evensong. Chairman of the Restoration Appeal, Abigail Kirby-Harris, thanked the Friends for all their hard work and support and said "we look forward now to the scaffolding coming down and preparing to celebrate the Feast Day of our Patron Saint, Mabena, in November when the Appeal will be formally closed by Sir David Brewer our Appeal Patron and saying a big "thankyou" to our supporters and benefactors, from far and wide"

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Restoration latest news

The works are now on schedule to be complete by the end of September, four weeks late due to the poor weather this summer and also the problems with the temporary roof. A penalty clause will be payable by the builders, and the restoration of the organ and hiring of an electronic one for the Flower Festival and wedding in September are being covered by their insurance. A survey of the damage to the wood block floor is also being undertaken. We look on track to be truly complete by the Patronal Festival on 16 November when our Patron, Sir David Brewer will inaugurate the plaque commemorating the successful completion (over 20 years!) of the restoration of the roof. Quotes are still being considered for the replacement of the old and inefficient heaters so the Church should be warm that day too!
photograph George Dyke

Slates for sale

It appears that there could be up to 500 fine rag slates for sale once the current builders have used what they need. These slates were bought for Phase One, twenty years ago and have been carefully stored for use in Phase Two. Every penny counts so the highest bid will win! Please contact Churchwarden John Lobb on 841581 if you are interested.

Churchyard working party

The grass all around St Mabyn Church is kept well trimmed but the ivy which is covering the shed, vestry gate and around the tombs near the door is rampant! Once the scaffolding comes down it is proposed to clear this away so that the church will look truly at her best for the Patronal Festival.Churchwarden John Lobb (841581) is looking for volunteers so please contact him if you are willing to lend an hour or two - the day and time will be set to suit the helpers.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Flood Damage

Parishioners will be pleased to learn that the flood damage suffered during the heavy rains in May is now well in hand and services in the Church have not been affected as we use our stalwart piano! Our organ needs some more weeks to dry out naturally before full restoration can commence but it will be back in action before too long - and certainly for the grand celebration service for our Patronal Festival on 16 November when our Patron Sir David Brewer will join us to celebrate the successful completion of the restoration.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Scaffolding progress

The very inclement weather with high winds and rain made it too dangerous for several days to erect the scaffolding and consequently this is running two weeks behind schedule but the contractors hope to make up some lost time and finish by late summer. Save the Date! Sunday 16 November, the Patronal Festival Service for St Mabena will be the service of thanksgiving to celebrate the successful conclusion of the restoration of our historic parish church. Our Patron, Sir David Brewer, and representatives of grant-giving bodies will attend and a warm invitation is extended to all to come and join us at this joyful time.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Appeal Committee

Bishop Bill is the Patron of the Restoration Appeal for the parish church of St Mabena and after a busy afternoon in the village he attended a party, held in the Church, to celebrate the success of the Appeal and attended by parishioners from across the combined benefice of St Mabyn, St Tudy and Michaelstow

Photo is of the Appeal Committee, l-r:
John Lobb (Churchwarden) Joanne Hyde (Treasurer) Helen Barrett (Publicity) Colin Hyde (Churchwarden) Alan Millson EH liaison) Abigail Kirby-Harris (Chairman) Jennifer Tarring (Secretary and Summer Music Organiser)

Work starts

This week sees the start of the long-awaited restoration of this beautiful old church. Ryearch, the approved contractors have started erecting the scaffolding. Services in the Church, including weddings and other celebrations will not be affected, including the Summer Music series of concerts, and the schoolchildren will also be able to continue with their regular use of the building. Fund-raising efforts will continue - until the final bills have been paid. Very many thanks to all those who have donated so far.

Cornish Historic Churches Trust

This splendid organisation which has given a generous donation to the St Mabyn restoration Appeal is organising its Annual Luncheon at Prideaux Place on Friday 27 June and also the Annual Church visit to St Michael Caerhays and Gorran on Thursday 27 May. The membership is growing steadily and members will already have received their mailings, including the notification of the AGM to be held at Morwenstow, with an opportunity to visit Hawkers Hut on the cliff. Those who meant to join (it costs a very modest £10 or £15 for a couple) still can do so and attend these events, contact GJ Holborrow, Membership Secretary, Friends of CHCT, The Coach House, Ladock, Truro TR2 4PL

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Summer Music in St Mabyn

Diary dates

We have now heard from further artists and are delighted to confirm the following dates all in the Church
Sunday 25 May A Gala Night at the Opera (Duchy Opera)
Sunday 22 June Johnny Cowling Gospel Music
Friday 18 July Jazz on the Green
Sunday 31 August Opera favourites -Italian Nightingales
Sunday 21 September Harvest concert Unity Jazz Band
We will conclude with a Cornish Evening in the Village Hall in October, date to be announced.

Good News!

The Appeal Committee is delighted to announce that tenders have been received and it is hoped that work will commence during April. It is important to make best use of the driest (!) season of the year so speed is of the essence. We have also been offered further grants, and donations are still being received so spirits are high! Very many thanks to everyone who has supported us, and is continuing to do so.

Lunch and Lecture Friday 15 February

Following the great success of the lunch and talk on Gallipoli in January the Friends of St Mabyn Church are holding a further event on Friday 13 February in St Mabyn Village hall, 12 for 1230pm. Marine artist Mike Haywood, who lives in St Mabyn will give an illustrated talk on the Mayflower and the Pilgrim Fathers. Mike has recently been working on a large triptych of the incidents around composing Amazing Grace and used the church as his studio; the paintings are still there on view. This promises to be an excellent events and tickets, costing £12 (a three course meal with wine) can be obtained from Liz and Gage Williams on 841378. proceeds to the Restoration Appeal
The VILLAGE fundraising group is nearing an ambitious target to restore and preserve a landmark medieval church in North Cornwall. And, the leader of the effort said that their success is testimony to the relevance of churches to modern life.
The Restoration Appeal Committee of St Mabyn Church has raised a daunting £77,000 in just over 12 months.
This will compliment a grant from English Heritage of £134,000 for the restoration of the roof of this “late medieval masterpiece”.
Chairman of the committee Abigail Kirby-Harris, a loyal member of the congregation, said: “This is wonderful news. St Mabyn church is set on a hill and is a real beacon of inspiration for miles around.
“We have worked very hard over the past year, holding lots of events and concentrating on an enormous letter writing campaign to people who have strong links with the church.”
The events orchestrated by the ambitious committee included concerts, a string of luncheons; they even successfully promoted it as a location for TV and film crews.
Church warden John Lobb said that the restoration work will prove vital to the fabric of the building and its contents, as well as providing the congregation with much-needed new heating.

“I’ve been looking after St Mabyn for 20 years,” said Mr Lobb. “But it had got beyond my powers to patch up all the leaks and problems".

“This is in the nick of time.”
The money will go towards re-roofing three of the six roof slopes, and restoring the interior, including touching up historic stained glass windows.
Abigail and her team exhaustively trolled through the parish registers for people who could help them find the necessary funds in this isolated rural community. They found 87 brides who had been married in the church, 117 babies (now grown) who had been baptised in the church, and the relations of 147 souls whose graves lay in the churchyard.

She said the response was “heartwarming”.

“I couldn’t believe the nice things people said,” said Abigail, who recently retired as head of membership and fundraising at Chatham House. “So many people wrote so warmly about the church and the part it had played in their family history. Even if they no longer lived in the parish, they all cared about the church and many of them responded generously.

“We even received four figure donations from families whose history was interwoven with St Mabyn for generations."

“I owe a great debt of gratitude to my hardworking team, and many thanks to all those who made this possible.”

Abigail said that this success meant more than just a lot of slates. “You can’t say that the church isn’t used a lot looking only at numbers on Sunday,” said Abigail, “It plays such an important role in so many lives.”

The church of St Mabyn is used daily by the village school and other community groups; on high and holy days the congregation is “impressive”.
Two high profile patrons of the appeal were Bishop Bill Ind and Sir David Brewer, last year’s Lord Mayor of London whose family have long-standing links with the parish.
Bishop Bill described St Mabyn church as a “reminder to everyone of the priority of God, and a reminder that it is a living place where men and women, boys and girls, live out their faith just as their forbears did.”

Community groups who donated money included the St Mabyn Young Farmer’s Club, the School Assocaition, the Garden Club, and the Village Hall Committee.

Good news notwithstanding, Abigail said the fundraising needs to continue.

“We’re nearly there, but there’s a lot that could still happen,” she said. “We need to maintain our momentum to make sure that we do not falter at the last hurdle.”

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Cornish Historic Churches Trust

This splendid, but little known organisation has just offered a much-needed grant of £5000 to the St Mabyn Restoration Appeal and this seems a good opportunity to bring its activities to a wider notice. It raises money in a variety of ways, The Bike Ride being a very well-known one and has a Friends organisation - The Friends of Cornish Churches. The Membership Secretary is Mr Geoffrey Holborrow, Ladock House, Ladock, Truro TR2 4PL and he has passed some membership forms to me for anyone who cares to join. The Friends organise some lovely events - a summer lunch somewhere with a glorious garden and a winter drinks party are two - to keep the fun in fund-raising! Individual membership costs £10 per year, £15 for a couple or £150 for Life membership.These are modest sums and of course tax payers can boost it by Gift Aid. If you'd like to know more or be sent a form please contact me on 850651.

End of Phase One

We are reaching the end of Phase One and thanks to incredible support and the promise of grants from the Church's Special Repairs Fund and also from the Friends we will be able to show English Heritage that we WILL be able to pay our share of the bills for Phase Two, so we will be permitted to go ahead and scaffolding will go up next year! Fund-raising will have to continue as we need to raise all the money - otherwise the accounts of the Special Repairs Fund and the Friends will be cleaned out and future maintenance both routine (the Friends remit) and extra special (the PCC's emit) will be impossible. Work is needed on both the tower and its pinnacles and also the great East window (the Hext memorial window) will need attention, so the Show goes on!!

We have a Coffee Morning by kind invitation of Esther Old on Friday 25 January, at Estmond, Station Road, 10am - 12noon and yet again the Slates will be there. They are filling up fast as we record the generosity of the donors so far. It has been encouraging to hear that so many people, whilst not being regular church-goers now still want the building there as part of our built heritage and also for the benefit of future loved one, for baptisms, marriages and funerals. We have received some generous donations from families represented in all three categories.

Next summer we intend to continue the successful programme of Summer Music with a monthly concert in this wonderful venue - all the musicians who perform there praise the acoustics. Jennifer Tarring, our Appeal Hon Sec and former Secretary to the Wadebridge Music Festival will coordinate this and details and dates are still being worked out though we know we kick off with Duchy Opera in May.

Date for the Diary is Friday 29th February when we welcome our Patron, Bishop Bill before he retires and it will be good to report that our project is succeeding.

Monday, 3 December 2007

St Mabyn Christmas Party

This enjoyable annual event will be held on Friday 7th December at Many Views, home of John and Anthea Lobb, at 7.30pm, with entertainment, delicious savoury supper and very good company! Tickets cost £7.50, available from 01208-841581, and this year all proceeds go to the Restoration Appeal.

Appeal receives boost

Pat and Richard Danielson have donated £2500 to the Appeal, in memory of Pat's parents, Gweneth and Donald Hoskin, and Gweneth's parents, Mr and Mrs Hughes. Both couples in turn kept the St Mabyn Stores and Post Office, for a total unbroken 60 years and all four are buried in the Churchyard. Pat Danielson, and her two brothers Christopher and Jeremy Hoskins (who both still live in the Bodmin area) were all baptised there as were the Danielsons' two sons in their turn. Pat was written to as part of the letter-writing campaign to all Brides who had been married there - and also to all the babies who had been baptised there. Richard and Pat felt that their contribution was a proper reflection of the part the Church had played in all their lives but in fact it isn't their only donation. Some years ago, shortly after the acquisition of an extension to the graveyard (now in the care of the Parish Council) they paid for a brick path to be laid and a sturdy wooden seat, made by local craftsman Tony Dickinson, installed also in memory of Pat's parents and grandparents.

Pat is just one of the Brides to whom we have written and as our deadline grows ever closer we do hope that some of the others will decide to help us too; the Cornish Guardian is keen to publicise any events which are held in aid of the fund-raising, and take pictures! though so far the Brides have simply (and very kindly) sent us a cheque and a Gift Aid form, making £100 actually worth £128 for the Appeal..

Other good news is the donation from St Mabyn Young Farmers Club of £1000 (St Mabyn YFC hold their services in the church) and the wonderful offer of a grant of £5000 by the Cornish Historic Churches Trust. This makes the total still to raise just £17000 before the end of the year and thereby being given the go-ahead by English Heritage as it is a condition of their grant that our separate £85000 is raised.

We are all immensely grateful to all our generous benefactoprs and we are SO close to achieving our target may I make one last request to those out there who have been meaning to make a donation not to wait any longer?! Thank you very much

St Mabyn Patronal Festival

The celebration of the Patronal Festival of St Mabena was an enjoyable and uplifting day. The service was led by the Reverend Margaret Millson, assisted by Prebendary Roger Urwin, the Reverend John Brendon-Cooke and the Archdeacon, the Venerable Clive Cohen who preached the sermon. Worshippers from St Tudy and Michaelstow were also present and the service was followed by a splendid luncheon at Levalsa Mere, home of Churchwarden Colin Hyde and his wife Joanne who led the team of talented cooks. In the afternoon a wonderful concert was performed by members of the Cadon Chamber Choir, accompanied by Steven Tyrrell and with instrumental pieces played by flautist Joel Dowling and violinist Joanna Milner accompanied by Sue Uglow on harpsichord. The retiring collection was in aid of the Restoration Appeal.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Wadebridge Male Voice Choir

Jenni Tarring reports that the last concert of the season was a great success. "The Wadebridge Male Voice Choir sounded fantastic under their musical director, Jerry Willcock, and the programme was varied with something for everyone. The little group of pupils and a couple of ex-pupils from St Mabyn School gave us a musical interlude and it is lovely to encourage young people to learn to play and perform in public - performance platforms are vital to the success of our musical tradition in Cornwall. Beau Scott, Margaret Mutton and I provided 'words' to balance out the musical content of the concert; Venning Davey was a funny and charming compère.

Raffle prizes were donated by the following: first prize, chicken dinner, Jenni Tarring; second prize, a harvest cake, Carole Grigg and Rachel Chamberlaine; third prize a Pieris plant, Jenny Trethewy; fourth prize, box of vegetables, John Lobb; fifth prize, assortment of jams and preserves, Molly Dyke."

The prizes generated a lot of money - everyone went home happy.

Coffee morning

On Friday 5th October there is a coffee morning at 'Many Views' from 10am-noon hosted by Anthea and John Lobb. There will be a bring and buy stall, Mustard Seed Cards (and Christmas cards) and The Slate - buy a slate to commemorate a loved one.

Generous cheques

Abigail Kirby-Harris (chairman of the church roof restoration appeal) says that there have been several generous cheques in response to the letter campaign to the brides and babies who have been married or christened in St Mabena.

Some previous residents in St Mabyn have been very generous too. Fund raising coffee mornings commence again in October.

Monday, 3 September 2007

Christmas Cards

It seems very early to be thinking already of Christmas but I have already received catalogues from two charities we support. If you normally buy charity Christmas cards please this year think of supporting one very close to home - the Church Appeal. Mustard Seed Cards have a wonderful selection, some religious, some scenic and some for younger children too. They donate part of the profits to the Appeal but, best of all, each card carries the publicity for the Appeal and the address of the website so that those who receive them will also know of our efforts. And if you normally dash out at the last minute to see what is left in the shops - this year please buy them from us and support our efforts! The cards are available at all Appeal events.

Diary Dates

Friday 5th October is the date of our first winter coffee morning in aid of the Appeal, to be held at Many Views, home of John and Anthea Lobb. These have been very well attended in the past, offering an opportunity for neighbours to meet for a chat. The "Slate" will be there - it is filling up very nicely - also a Bring and Buy table and Mustard Seed cards. Time is 10am - 12 noon

The Last £25,000!!

They all say it is the last twenty five thousand which is the most difficult! but it simply means we are redoubling our efforts and are very encouraged as the first responses arrive to the letters to Brides, Babies (who were baptised there) and former residents. There is a clear understanding that nothing "just happens" and there isn't Someone out there who will do Something! The Someone is Us and the Something is Raising the Money! We have often been asked what work needs to be done, as not much is visible from a quick lookand so Richard Jenkin has put together a display, in the church, of photographs, taken mainly by our architect, of the parts of the roof which are not easily visible, and show clearly what needs to be done. Many thanks to him - do take a look when you are next in the village. The huge cost arises from the size of the building, and its ancient listed state, requiring craftsmen and lots of scaffolding.

Warmest thanks also to Pauline Kent, Phil Tizzard, Roger Nicholls and Roy Dinshaw for a truly lovely concert of Classical Favourites. Those of you who missed it will have another opportunity as they are performing the same programme on 8 September in St Thomas' Church, Camelford. The audience came from a wide area - including two ladies from Falmouth who had read about it in Inside Cornwall and declared themselves delighted.

We look forward to the final concert in the Summer Music programme on 22 September with the Wadebridge Male Voice Choir.

We are saying our prayers that the monies will have been raised by the end of the year and so are planning our End of Appeal celebration! Bishop Bill, out Patron retires at Easter and we all want to thank him for his support and so we are holding a party, in the church of course! on the evening of Friday 29 February - and everyone is warmly invited to attend. More details closer to the time.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Classical Music

An evening of Classical Music Saturday 18th August in the Church 7.30pm. Many old/new favourites . Soprano Pauline Kent accompanied by Roy Dinshaw; Tenor Phil Tizzard and Boscastle’s ‘Champaign Charlie’ Roger Nicholls ! Admission free with a retiring collection. Refreshments served in the church.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

House Clearance sale

House Clearance sale at Delamere House Kelly Park on Saturday 4th August from 10.00am
All proceeds to St.Mabyn Church roof appeal

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Music for a summer evening

Music for a summer evening was a delightful event. The Triggshire Wind Orchestra were wonderful. For St Mabyn parishioners, particularly, there was a special surprise when they were introduced to some impressive talent - St Mabyn School Woodwind Players. They had never performed in public prior to the event. It was wonderful to see their confidence grow after they had played the first two tunes. They were sensitively led by Triggshire's musical director Janet Elston, who appears to get great fun out of conducting and guiding the orchestra. Beth Lee from St Mabyn, who has advanced in her musical studies on the saxophone, gave a wonderful solo performance.

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Silk Painting Workshop

Jenni Milne, the internationally known artist (you can see her work in her Craft Shop at Pencarrow)is holding an all day workshop for beginners, in St Mabyn Village Hall on Saturday 28th July. All materials will be provided and participants will be able to take home two painted silk pictures ready for framing. The workshop starts at 10am and will finish at 4pm, and a simple pasty lunch will be provided. Places cost £30 per head and Jenni is donating all the proceeds to the Restoration Appeal. Places are strictly limited so early booking is advised to avoid disappointment. Please ring Jenni Tarring on 841329 to register, and for further details.
Photograph: Poppies Copyright © 2003 Jenni Milne

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Music for a Summer Evening

Triggshire Wind Orchestra
With Musical Director ~ Janet Elston
on Wednesday 27th June 2007
at 7.30pm in St Mabyn Church
Guest Soloists
Zoe Ray & Steve Tyrell
Also featuring St Mabyn School Woodwind Players and St Mabyn Wannabees!!!
Programme Includes Tuscola Mountain Celebration, Jamaica Rumba, The Muppets Show Theme, Tuxedo Junction, Saxophone Solo, Mozart Sonata, Cornish Dance, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and more

Admission to Concert is FREE with a Retiring Collection
In aid of St Mabyn Church Restoration Appeal
Refreshments will be served in the Village Hall during the interval, where an Art Exhibition will be staged by the “Camelford Gallery”.

Janet Elston, Musical Director, started the Triggshire Wind Orchestra in 1984 primarily for schools on the north Cornwall coast – Wadebridge, Sir James Smith’s and Budehaven Schools with some players coming from Launceston and Bodmin. Originally for children, adults soon realised that there was a lot of fun going on and they wanted to join in, hence some slightly more senior players!

Prior to 1200 the area from Stratten to the River Camel was known as the Shire of Trigg and when looking for a suitable name for the newly formed wind orchestra, Triggshire seemed to fit the bill admirably. Janet Elston has an assistant Musical Director, Mike Brown.