Facilities and features


an accessible toilet is available in the base of the tower, entry via the Kitchen area at the rear of the church

The nearest car park (free) is in Treloan Road past the Standard Inn opposite the Church, (400 yards)

Accessible Toilet

There are no public telephones in the village

The nearest car park (free) is in Treloan Road past the Standard Inn opposite the Church, (400 yards)

Defibrillators are available at the Roseland Garage on Churchtown Road (approx 150 yards) and at the memorial Hall on Gerrans Hill (250 yards)

There is a level entry to the church

A hearing aid induction loop is installed

Large Print hymn books are available

All well behaved dogs are welcome

The Church is wheel Chair accessible

Our Building

Stained Glass

The Prayer Chapel to the left of the main altar is a quiet room available for private prayer

The Ancient Church by the Sea

The Parish Church of Gerrans is the dominant feature of the local landscape, standing as it does on the brow of a hill overlooking the sea. Its steeple, erected in the 17th century as a navigation mark at the request of local fishermen, is today also a reference for walkers and drivers.

The Church probably takes it name from St Gerant, Blerens or Gerendus. It is certain that there was a Gerrans, perhaps a chief, who was known in the Celtic world from Wales to Brittany.

Local legend has it that the body of the saintly king Gerrans was rowed across the bay from Dingerein (meaning Gerrans Castle today known as Curgurrel) in a silver boat with golden oars. Excavations of this mound however revealed only a Bronze Age burial chamber containing blackened bones.

It is known that Gerrans was the seat of the Bishopric of the Celtic Church. Evidence of this is given in a copy of a letter still in existence at Canterbury written by Kenstec Bishop-Elect of the Cornish people, whose monastery is said to have been in Gerrans parish. In this letter he proclaims his obedience to the Church of Canterbury and declares his allegiance to Ceolnouth, who was Archbishop of Canterbury from AD 833 to 870.

Tregear Manor, which lay a mile north of the church, was the capital of an important Episcopal Fief, visited frequently by the Bishops of Exeter. In the autumn of 1259, Bishop Walter Bronscombe spent several days here when he dedicated the monastery church at St Anthony. In 1261 he instituted Bartholomew de Ladario as the first rector of the parish and founded a classical school St Michael Penkivell, then part of the Manor of Tregear.

Before Bishop Bronescombe instituted the first rector it would seem that Gerrans church had been a chapel of the monastery of St Anthony.

The first church to be erected was probably a crude building of cob and thatch, but this was replaced by a more substantial building.

No parts of any pre-Norman church are known on this site, but the granite Celtic cross probably dates to between the 6th and tenth centuries. It is a good example of a Cornish wheel cross cut from a single piece of granite with a plain cross cut on each face of the head, but prolonged exposure to the weather has made the carving rather indistinct. For many years it was used as a coping stone in the churchyard wall. It was placed in its present position on a modern plinth during the restoration of the churchyard in the 19th century.

The Norman church is likely to have been cruciform in plan . Part of the north wall of the present nave, transept and chancel, probably rest on Norman foundations.

The Font is a relic of this period, made in the middle of the 12th century. It has a bowl, square on the outside, with 4 shallow blank arches, set on a small pillar at each corner. The granite steps on which it stands are of a more recent construction, again probably dating from the Victorian restoration.

About the middle of the thirteenth century changes were made to the structure; but retaining the cruciform plan. The present exterior walls of the nave, the north transept and the chancel probably date from this time.

The 2 small lancet windows in the new room between the north door and the tower, and the 3 light south east window of the transept (though apparently set in original 15th century masonry) are typical examples of thirteenth century Cornish work.

In the north wall of the chancel there is an aumbry for holding the sacramental vessels, now covered by small doors. On the opposite wall may be found a piscina complete with drain hole down which the consecrated water used for rinsing the chalice was emptied. The piscina is 5ft 4ins (163cm) above the floor, suggesting that the floor may have been at least 1 foot (30.5cm) higher than it is now.

A low stone bench, with wooden covers, was to be found around the north and west wall of the transept.( Most of this feature has been absorbed into the alteration to the back of the church in the early 2000s, but a small section may be seen on the south side of the inner porch )This bench would have been provided for the aged and infirm. The rest of the congregation would have stood during the service.

There is little evidence of any fourteenth century work, but it is probable that part of the north doorway and the buttresses at the base of the tower date from this time. The fifteenth century however saw major alterations to the building. Most of the south wall of the chancel, the south transept and the south wall of the nave were removed and replaced by a south aisle.

Between the nave and the south aisle a series of seven arches was built of granite shafts and depressed points. The south porch was also built at this time (though subsequently restored and rebuilt.) Of the rest of the other windows, on the south wall there are 3 of 2, and 1 of 3 lights. The moulded granite sides date from this reconstruction, although the tracery is later. The masonry in what is now the Lady Chapel is almost entirely original. The south porch, built at this time retains it cusp-headed holy water stoup (somewhat damaged). Lengths of 15th century carved wall plates, were rescued from the old roof after the fire in 1848 and placed both inside and outside of the porch during the Victorian restoration after the fire of 1848.

The main development outside the church was the construction of the octagonal spire. A band of quatrefoils that divides it in two contains an inscription - 25th June 1636, which records the day when repairs to the tower were completed, two centuries after it was built. For the next 300 hundred years no major alterations were undertaken. Except that some seating must have been introduced as six bench ends dating from the sixteenth century are preserved. They are characteristically Cornish in design with a carved border, framing a traceried head over two panels. Below are shields carved with the symbols of the Passion, scourges, reeds, spears, whips, crown of thorns and unusually, Judas’ 30 pieces of silver. On one shield is the device of Catharine of Aragon (Queen from 1509-1536), which makes it seem likely that these carvings were made during that time.

A later addition to the interior may be found on the north side of the Lady Chapel. This is a somewhat ornate marble monument erected in 1732 in memory of Edward Hobbes of Tregassa

Music and Worship

The Roseland Music Society holds occasional Concerts

About 1855 a single manual organ by H.P. Dicker of Exeter was placed at the east end of the south aisle. This was rebuilt in 1896 with manuals by Hele of Plymouth. This organ was moved to the north transept in 1948. This effectively hides a tomb let into the north wall and thought to be that of a former rector. The organ was completely rebuilt and enlarged by Lance Foy in 1993 and also refurbished with the addition of a swell pedal in 1997 and with further improvements in 1998. It is thought by many to be one of the finest small church organs in Cornwall.

Further repairs were carried out in 2023.

The monthly Matins Service uses the Book of common Prayer

The small choir is often augmented by members of the Roseland Churches Choir which sing at Special services through-out the year; notably Harvest, Remembrance day and Christmas.

The organ is often supplemented by a number of instruments (String and Brass)

Groups, Courses and Activities

The church participates in the Roseland Churches Prayer meetings held at Philliegh Village Hall

Charity Coffee mornings a generally held on the 2nd or Thursday of the month, although there are sometimes two in a month.

The Coffee Mornings are generally Community events raising money for both local and international Charities and in the main do not raise monies for the Church.

Local Guides join in the Remembrance Day service

Messy Church is held on the first Monday of each month (except where a Bank holiday intervenes). They are held from 15:15 to 16:30, immediately following the School day. Children attend with parents. Attendence ranges from 10 to over 30 children plus their parents.

Help for Visitors

The are a number of leaflets at the back of the church detailing the church and its history.

The 10am Sunday service is in general followed by Tea, coffee and biscuits/cakes

The Church is open every day from approx 9 am to 4 pm. The opening and closure of the church depends upon a group of volunteers unlocking and locking the building, so there may be occasions it is unlocked later or locked earlier.

We welcome well behaved dogs at our services and whilst visitors view the church

Other Features

St Gerrans has been a Fairtrade church for over 20 years and continue to support Trade Exchange and it’s successors.

The church acts as a depository for Truro Foodbank donations throughout the year. One or more of the monthly Coffee Mornings are held to raise funds for the Truro Foodbank. The November morning raised £1405, including direct donations.

A number of people help with delivery of food boxes on behalf of Truro foodbank

The Church is available for use by the Community at no charge, although a donation is appreciated.

it is regularly used by St Gerrans School, the Roseland Churches Choir and The Roseland Music society