Morwenstow: St Morwenna and St John the Baptist, Morwenstow

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Morwenstow Parish Church is dedicated to Morwenna (a local saint) and St.John the Baptist, and is part of the United Benefice of Kilkhampton with Morwenstow.

It is probably best-known for its links with the 19th century cleric, poet and eccentric, the Rev. R.S.Hawker, Vicar from 1834 to 1875. His Vicarage (now a private house) stands nearby.

A short stroll to the south along the Coast Path is ‘Hawker’s Hut’ - the driftwood hut where the Rev.Hawker wrote sermons and poetry and contemplated the sea.

The Church is approached through a lych gate with a slate stile alongside. An adjacent stone and slate building was formerly used as a temporary mortuary, and is still known locally as the ‘Dead House’.

The interior walls of the Church are plaster-covered; the north wall of the chancel carrying a fragment of a 15th or 16th century wall painting believed to represent St. Morwenna. Opposite is a piscina, once used for washing Holy Communion vessels. This was uncovered by Hawker in 1855, having been hidden beneath the plaster for some 300 years.

The reredos above the altar features a triptych of engravings of the Crucifixion by the artist John Baptist Jackson (1701-1780), as well as a remarkable red chalk drawing of St John the Baptist by the Venetian artist, Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (1683-1754).

Fine carvings abound, including pew ends dating as far back as 1539, and there are many historic tombs beneath the floor of the Church as well as in the churchyard. Between the pulpit and the lectern is the tomb of Hawker’s first wife, Charlotte. Hawker married again and was buried with his second wife, Pauline Anne, in Plymouth.

The Church has many memorials and some impressive stained glass windows. Particularly noteworthy are the Waddon Martyn Windows (commemorating a prominent local family) and the Hawker Memorial Window.

The restored original figurehead of the brig.‘Caledonia of Arbroath’ is mounted inside the Church high on the north wall opposite the entrance. For generations it served as the grave-marker for the crew of this ill-fated vessel, wrecked nearby in 1842. They, along with some 40 other shipwreck victims, were given a Christian burial by the Rev.Hawker. A weather-resistant replica now serves as the grave marker.

For worshippers and other visitors there is a car park near the lych gate, with a small car park for disabled visitors accessed from the driveway leading down to the Old Vicarage.

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Directions to Morwenstow: St Morwenna and St John the Baptist, Morwenstow, EX23 9SR

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Please see below
Rev.Richard Ward-Smith,
The Rectory, Priestacott Park, Kilkhampton, Bude, Cornwall EX23 9TH
Tel: 01288 321314
E-mail: [email protected]

Joy Topham,
Chapel House, Woodville Rd, Woodford, Morwenstow, Bude, Cornwall EX23 9JA
E-mail:[email protected]

Margaret Inch
Tel: 01288 331404
email:[email protected]

Richard Painter
email: [email protected]
  • Regular Services
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Printer friendly list of events
Printer friendly list of events
Songs of Praise Service
This is the first of Morwenstow's 2014 'summer season' of Songs of Praise family services for local people and holidaymakers. Worship Leader: Richard Painter
Sunday 27th April 2014 at 4:00 PM for 1 hour
Family Friendly Book of Common Prayer
Holy Communion
Preacher: Archdeacon Audrey
Sunday 4th May 2014 at 9:30 AM for 1 hour
Family Friendly Book of Common Prayer
Marriage of Nicola Pooley and Thomas Currie from Chorley, Lancashirel
Saturday 10th May 2014 at 1:00 PM for 1 hour
Family Friendly Book of Common Prayer
Service of Baptism
Sunday 11th May 2014 at 9:30 AM for ½ hour
Family Friendly Book of Common Prayer
Visit by Bishop Tim
Confirmation of local people and celebration of Holy Communion, with the Right Reverend Tim Thornton, The Bishop of Truro, officiating.
Sunday 11th May 2014 at 2:00 PM for 1 hour
Family Friendly Book of Common Prayer
Deanery Service at Tintagel
No service at Morwenstow Church today.
Sunday 18th May 2014 at 11:00 AM
Songs of Praise
This is the second in our summer season of afternoon Songs of Praise services for local people and holidaymakers. Worship Leader Joy Topham will officiate.
Sunday 25th May 2014 at 4:00 PM for 1 hour
Family Friendly Book of Common Prayer
Holy Communion
Preacher: Rev. Richard Ward-Smith
Sunday 1st June 2014 at 9:30 AM for 1 hour
Family Friendly Book of Common Prayer
Bell Ringing Regular Book of Common Prayer Services Grade 1 Listed Building Tower Stained glass Guidebooks / notes Organ Wheelchair Access / Ramp Accessible Car parking Assistance Dogs Toilets Visitor Parking Available

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The Revd Richard WARD-SMITH
11 Priestacott Park
(01288) 321314
A Church Near You ID: 2500
Our Patron: Diocesan Board of Patronage and Bishop (jointly).
Archdeaconry: BODMIN (392)
Deanery: STRATTON (39202)
Benefice: Kilkhampton w Morwenstow (39/057BM)
Parish Legal Name: Morwenstow (390210 39/210)
CofE Church Info: (639210 39/210)
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The current editor is: Bob Pirie

Morwenstow: St Morwenna and St John the Baptist Morwenstow, Cornwall, EX23 9SR
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