This is part of an on line article from The Cornish Times.
A NEW network of churches will offer the solace and sanctuary of Cornwall’s holy sites to many more locals and visitors.
“Celtic Quiet Places” is the brainchild of retired parish priest the Reverend Canon Pat Robson.
So far, 72 churches from all over Cornwall have signed up to be part of the project, and a website detailing their locations and opening times is set to go live in March. From large churches in towns, to isolated chapels set in dramatic backdrop on the windy moor, they all have something in common: their doors will be open to invite anyone in, whether it be to pause and take a moment to step away from life’s troubles, or to seek out and enjoy the unique history and ancestry that each of these places has to offer.
Ancient Celtic Christian sites such as the tiny St Clether Holy Well chapel, near the banks of the River Inney, and the remains of the holy well at Madron, will also be featured on the website.
Pat has taken her inspiration from the Christian students who travelled hundreds of miles from their homes in the very early centuries AD. These young and passionate saints threw off the trappings of the established Roman church of the time, travelling light, and teaching that God was there for you in the meadow or at the stream, found in the beating of a bird’s wing just as much as in the gilded cup held by the high priest.
Some were forced to leave their homes as refugees as the Anglo Saxons moved into Britain, while saints such as Samson and Petroc left behind positions of wealth and royalty to take a different path.
“The story of the Celtic saints in Cornwall is a story still to be told. In Celtic times we were a landbridge for the students leaving Wales to go to Brittany, and wherever people stopped it became a holy place,” Pat explains. “You can’t go very far without finding a Celtic place.”
For Pat, this explains why Cornwall has not promoted its Celtic sites in the same way as Lindisfarne or Iona.
“We haven’t got the one single place, the whole of the county is holy, almost every road that the Celtic saints walked on, every village they stopped in, has something significant. It’s so familiar to us that we haven’t given it a second thought.”
Pat hopes that the Celtic Quiet Places scheme will change this, bringing the beauty of our churches and their deep connection with past to many new people. A benefit of the project, she hopes, will be to bring the footfall of visitors, acting to protect the smaller parishes whose members may fear the loss of their church.
Visit the website www.celticquietplaces.com to learn more.