Michaelstow Church



St Michael's Church Michaelstow

Grade 1 listed   Architectural and Historic Interest

War Memorial at the west of the church

Keltic Cross in the Churchyard  (Monolith 10 feet tall)

The Holy Well in the Churchyard

Interior of the Church

Ancient carved bench ends in the church

The Organ with a keyboard of 2½ octaves and four stops

View from tower roof

The church roof from the top of the tower

One of the four Pinnacles on the top of the tower

The approach to the church from the tower roof

Thanks to Kate Martin and Andrew Button for these photographs.



At the start of a new year, and as we await the arrival of our new priest, it seems an opportune time for a report on the current state of affairs at Michaelstow.

The transition from a parish church to a chapel of ease within a new parish of St Tudy with Michaelstow has not been an easy one and the change has been the subject of some criticism. However, nobody has been able to suggest what else could have been done since Michaelstow was in the position of having no Church Warden, PCC Secretary or PCC Treasurer from within its own resources (and here I think a 'mention in despatches' is due for Anthony ffrench Blake who took on the Treasurer's role when nobody from within the PCC could be found to undertake it). I think we did very well to soldier on alone as long as we did.

We have been able to maintain a service every Sunday thanks to Reverend John Henry Barfoot and Kerstin Lewis officiating, and slightly increased our average size of congregation to seven. And most importantly we have been able to maintain the Church's presence in the middle of our small community.

But the number of people in the pews is not, I maintain, the be all and end all of a church's success for surely the quality of worship is more important. Michaelstow continues to use the 'gold standard' of the Anglican Church, the Book of Common Prayer with readings always taken from the Authorised Version ('King James Bible'). And in the past year we have been able to reintroduce music to our services on a regular basis with recorded organ backing using a computer system. Many thanks to Steve for supplying and installing the hardware for this. In addition, Gareth Stubberfield has volunteered to play the organ for us when he can and since Gareth also has a fine singing voice we are doubly grateful for his presence!  Of course, Alison Blackburn has been helping us by playing on special occasions for many years and again we are very grateful for this. We have also, under the guidance of Kerstin Lewis, started singing the versicles and responses in Morning Prayer again.

So we can look forward to 2018 with some confidence.  

David Ford


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