Cross of St PiranThere aren’t many people who still live in the house that they were born in, even fewer who live in the house that their mother was born in! Doris can put her hand up to both, such is the extent of her place in the life of Polkerris, the picturesque village nestled beside the waters close to Fowey.

Doris is nominated for her commitment to Tregaminion Church, a beautiful chapel built by the Rashleigh family on their estate, Menabilly, the inspiration for Daphne du Maurier’s Manderley.

A life-long relationship with Tregaminion began for Doris when she was christened there, and has endured well into her later years. Doris prepares the church for each service, from opening-up to providing and arranging the flowers, reading the lessons to cleaning and closing-up. “I do everything except preach!” laughs Doris, “And I’m not doing that!”

“I do everything except preach!” laughs Doris, “And I’m not doing that!”

Doris couldn’t imagine life without her church. Tregaminion has been the framework that has shaped her every week and that of her mother, who lived until she was 104, father, five aunts, brother and sister Gwendolyn who, on a snowy day this February, Doris said goodbye to at her funeral there.

Life in Polkerris has been peaceful and Doris remembers a time when she couldn’t walk down to the beach without a window being opened and someone hoping to have a chat. Things have changed and the sense of community isn’t as strong as it used to be, but Doris does what she can with her participation with the local WI, which has been active for over 90 years, and delivering the parish magazine which gives her the opportunity to visit the housebound.

Without Doris, Tregaminion wouldn’t be the chapel that it is today. A beautiful, well-kept little church waiting patiently to offer sanctuary and tranquillity to all-comers.