“An award for ordinary people who have given in extraordinary ways,” said Bishop Chris

The wind was whipping around St Piran’s Church on March 5th, as if the Saint himself was reminding us of the high seas he battled, burdened with his millstone of course, before landing on our Cornish Shores.  But all was calm within as the twenty or so nominees for the Cross of St Piran were awarded their beautiful silver crosses for their outstanding, unstinting but quiet giving to their beloved churches.


“It was so humbling to hear about the various work of the recipients, some of them for more years than I’ve been on this earth, people in their 80’s & 90’s still doing God’s work. What faith. I still have a long way to go, but they give me inspiration to keep going.” This was written by one of the recipients, herself a hero although she’d never see that in herself.

And that was the point. The church on that day was full of heroes, the ones who don’t ask for praise or thanks, whose work mostly goes unnoticed, unless they’re not there to do it.

Each person’s story was different, coming from different parts of Cornwall with different gifts and ways to serve. But, as Bishop Chris said, they all shared the truth that they, like Jesus, are salt and light in the world. Salt because they preserve all that’s good so it’s available for others. And light because they help us to find the right way and keep us safe.

Salt and light are abundant in the recipients. From helping refugees in Calais to feeding the homeless in Truro every Friday evening, even though you’re ninety. From becoming a foster mum to children in difficult circumstances, to teaching mothers in Tanzania the value of talking to their babies. From wrestling to revive a withering church, to pitching up in all weathers to open a chapel to all-comers. From lugging donations from pillar to post for weekly rummage sales, to playing the organ every Sunday into your ninety-fourth year. From always being there with a kind word, a cup of tea or simply taking the time to cherish the fact that an elderly lady loves to present a beautiful cloth to celebrate communion in her home.

Jesus calls us to live out our lives as a blessing to others, to be the people He’s made us to be. They all heard the call and have become the salt that makes life taste better.

Bishop of St Germans, Rt Revd Christopher Goldsmith, with the recipients of the Cross of St Piran Award from the second service. L-R back Mark Lees (Truro and the St Piran’s Cross Multi Academy Trust), Jan and David Townend (Illogen and the ZUMM Project, Tanzania), Anne Pengelly (Truro), John Birkin (Truro), Anne Lawrence (Mullion), Susan Godolphin (Camborne), Terry Hodge (St Austell); front Geoffrey Gibbons (St Tudy), Joy Hine (St Breock), Bishop of St Germans, Rt Revd Christopher Goldsmith, Betty Hodges (Constantine), Rowley Surridge (Truro); foreground Sheila Gluyas (Crowan).

Bishop of St Germans, Rt Revd Christopher Goldsmith, with more recipients of the Cross of St Piran Award from the first service. L-R back row Tony and Joyce Davis (Kilkhampton), Dawn White (Lanteglos, near Fowey), Evelyn Reed (St Germans); front row Kevin Grant (Liskeard), Jennifer Bartlett (Egloskerry, Launceston), Jean Pidgen (Torpoint), Bishop of St Germans, Rt Revd Christopher Goldsmith, Barbara Palmer (Halsetown, St Ives), Johanna Evans (Halsetown, St Ives), Amy Cloake (Landulph).
Photos by Peter Glaser

Read the stories behind each Cross of St Piran award