We’ll celebrate Crowan Feast and our founding saint, St Crewenna, on 31 January – the closest Sunday to Candlemas, the presentation of Christ in the Temple.
The meaning of Candlemas is long forgotten by most of us and is not usually celebrated very widely. But the bravery of Crewenna and other Celtic saints arriving in Cornwall to spread the Gospel about 1,500 years ago has certainly been thought worth celebrating locally over the generations.
Not just the congregation at Crowan Church but the whole of the parish joined in the festivities.
‘Until a late hour in certain parts of St Crewenna’s land, the vicinity resounded with singing and merriment,” reported the Cornishman in February 1913.
On Feast Day morning in flower-bedecked Crowan Church, the lord of the Manor, the Rev. St Aubyn Hender Molesworth St Aubyn, read the lessons. There was a children’s service in the afternoon and at Evensong the then Bishop of Truro paid his first visit to the church.
There were special services at Praze and Leedstown Methodist Chapels and at other chapels long since sadly closed – Releath, Black Rock and Horsedowns, where Four Lanes Male Voice Choir (still going strong 108 years on) gave a concert.
On Feast Monday there was a clay shooting match at Leedstown, a ‘a sale of work’ (church bazaar) and general disappointment that the Fourburrow Hunt was not able to meet as usual (no reason given).
Fast forward 35 years, through two World Wars, and we find similar celebrations taking place in 1948. Miss Marion Goldsworthy (remembered by many of us as Mrs Marion James) played the organ at Crowan. Services were held at Leedstown, Releath and Black Rock chapels and that year the Fourburrow Hunt did meet on Feast Monday, attracting a large following.
The Feast tradition lives on during these difficult Coronavirus days.
Maybe this year it’s even more important to reach out and connect with others - whether churchgoers or not - to celebrate the pioneering zeal of Crewenna and the other Celtic saints who spread light in the darkness in the early years of Christianity.
Perhaps to celebrate Crowan Feast this year we could reach out beyond our church family with a small act of kindness? Maybe telephoning an elderly neighbour or isolated friend on Sundays at the time we usually make a gesture of peace to each other in church? Any small act could make a difference.