One off service in UK’s oldest Christian church
Following the efforts of many dedicated volunteers the sand has now been removed from the 5th Century Oratory right down to the floor and the altar exposed.
Rev Caspar Bush, curate in the parish of Perranzabuloe, said: “The dunes above Perranporth are very special in the hearts of many people, both religious and non-religious, as a truly spiritual place. This is where the 5th Century St Piran’s Oratory is situated. Thanks to the efforts of many dedicated volunteers from the St Piran Trust, the sand has now been removed using only shovels and trowels down to the floor and the altar, a faithful Victorian copy from plans made by William Michell who first excavated the Oratory in 1835, has been carefully exposed.”
Volunteers from the Trust undertook phase 1 of the excavations in February revealing the tops of the original walls and the concrete shell built outside and over the ruins in 1910 in what turned out to be a fruitless attempt to protect it. The wet winter put an end to Phase 1.
But since the start of November phase 2 has been taking place and over the coming weekend from 11am till 3pm the Oratory excavation site will be open to all who would like to come and look.
Caspar said: “Many in Cornwall and beyond regard the Oratory as something like the birthplace of Christianity in the UK. In recognition of the spiritual significance of the place at 3pm on Sunday I will lead a short communion service in the Oratory.
‘It’s so exciting to stand in this place where Christian worship in these dunes first happened nearly 1,500 years ago. Sharing bread and wine has always been the central act of worship for Christians who gather together, so it seems appropriate to mark this unearthing by worshipping God in this timeless way. Communion is something that links Christians together both around the world today, and also through centuries of history.”
All are welcome. The service will go ahead providing it is not torrential rain. Text 07931 577662 on the day to find out if it’s going ahead. Perran Sands Holiday Park are kindly allowing the use of their car park, roughly a ten minute walk from the Oratory.
For more information contact Rev Caspar Bush via email email@example.com or the number above.