St Cubert church has been awarded a sum of £225,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The grant, along with a number of others, will facilitate a re-roofing of the building as well as allow repairs to the walls and spire.

When the work is complete a programme of free workshops will help reveal the stories hidden in the art, architecture and history of the church to local people, and specifically the elderly who may struggle to visit it due to difficulties with access.

St Cubert Church is located on the highest point of the parish of Cubert, part of the Atlantic Coast Cluster of churches on the North coast of Cornwall. It was founded in the 7c when St Cubert, a Welsh missionary, together with his companion St Carantoc and a number of others, came to Cornwall to establish churches here. They followed in the foot-steps of St Piran and chose the locations to form their communities because of the proximity to the ancient Holy Well located in the sand dunes right by the coast at Holywell Bay.

St Cubert’s story is one of many which have impacted hugely on how the geography and social structure of Cornwall has evolved. The area in which Piran, Cubert and Carantoc founded their churches is extremely sandy, characterised by an extensive area of dunes which is intertwined with the places of worship. St Piran’s Oratory was buried in the sand at Perranporth until a recent HLF grant enabled its excavation, and the route to the Holy Well at Holywell takes you through the sands so particular to this area of coastline.

Consequently, the project is called Sacred Land, Saints and Sand as it concisely reflects the Celtic saints connection to the local geographical area and highlights the significance of St Cubert Church within it. It is a two year project to restore this wonderful church building with a comprehensive plan to engage new audiences in a creative programme of events, interpretation and participation.

Photo: Chris Lucas

Over the course of two years the hidden heritage of this previously mostly unknown church will be shared with new audiences through the offering of a series of creative art workshops in stained glass, music and multimedia arts.  From these workshops a number of objects will be created which will become part of a handling box which will be taken into schools, care homes and memory cafes in order to facilitate a sensory learning experience for those who might find access to this ancient building difficult.

In addition a new community play which tells the story of St Cubert will be developed by a local professional director, and performed by members of the community as part of the re-instatement of the old pilgrims route from Crantock to Perranporth, and performed around the time of the feast of St Cubert in October 2018.

Finally new interpretation inside the church building will help visitors understand the significance of the building in which they stand.

The whole project kicks off on 7th  October 2017 with a music open day during which the mysteries of the church organ will be revealed with ‘have a go’ sessions, hand bell ringing, and a short recital designed to tell you more about how the instrument works and how it has been used in the church music tradition throughout the ages.  All will be welcome.

St Cubert Church is looking for new volunteers, specifically to take the handing box into the care homes and memory cafes – so if you are interested in getting involved please contact Wendy Barrit, Church Warden, Little Carines, St Cubert, Newquay, TR8 5ET, or by telephoning Wendy 01637 830380 or Kath 01637 831083

There is a Facebook page set up for the project so to find out more about workshops and learning opportunities please ‘like’