The Parish Church of St John-in-Cornwall – dedicated to St John the Baptist
Services and Church Wardens:
Our normal service times are:-
Sundays: 9.00 am – Holy Eucharist with hymns
PLEASE NOTE:- There is no service where there is a fifth Sunday in the month.
This is usually held at either All Saints’ Church in Millbrook or Maker Church (St. Mary and St. Julian) at 10.30 am with the other churches in our Team Ministry.
Our Church Warden is:
Mrs Susan Holmes
Tel: 01752 823 090
Our Priest in Charge is:
The Revd Fr Michael Brown (SCC) RNR
The Rame Peninsula Team Ministry
The Vicarage, Newport Street, Millbrook,
Cornwall. PL10 1BW
Tel: 01752 822 264
History of St John Church
The historic records for much of this area were kept at Mount Edgcumbe House but were destroyed during the war. We do know, however, that a church existed here in 1080.
The present church was built in about 1150. It was originally dedicated to St John the Evangelist but was later, probably in about 1490, changed to St John the Baptist.
Some history of St John Church from an extract taken from “Church Drive About” 1995.
The images were taken in 2015
St. John belonged to the Abbey of Tavistock and was leased by the Dawney family in the thirteenth century.
The Church still retains its Norman plan of a chancel, nave and low west tower. The tower is twelfth century but may have been rebuilt in the fourteenth century. You can see the blocked west doorway in the tower as you walk up the path. The nave has early fourteenth century work. The church, except for the tower, was rebuilt again in 1867 by the busy London architect. Mr William White, who also worked in the nearby churches at Torpoint and Maryfield. The south porch was probably rebuilt in 1605: note the datestone set low in the wall. Above can be seen the eighteenth century slate sundial. The double doors into the church have fine nineteenth century strap hinges and above can be seen the blocked tympanum (the space between the lintel and the arch over it).
Both the north and south windows in the chancel are fourteenth century with late nineteenth / early twentieth century stained glass. The north window of the nave has fragments of medieval glass reset in roundels and diamonds.
The sanctuary chair in the chancel is dated 1635. The octagonal, Pentewan stone font is nineteenth century and there are some very fine nineteenth century brass candelabra oil lamps in the nave. In I728 the church furnishings included a pewter flagon, a small silver chalice with a cover of silver and a small silver salver dated 1703.
In 1743 the then rector, Ambrose Hodge, tells us he had just 15 families living in the parish, 63 souls. He held four communions a year for 16 communicants. There were no dissenters and no school. The Trevil charity left one shilling a week to be distributed in bread for the poor of the parish every Sunday for ever.
The money for this charity came from the manor of Botelet in Lanreath, owned jointly by Trelawny and Trevil Cross. Mr. Trelawny had constantly paid his part but Mr. Cross was about 12 years in arrears .The rector lived at Plymouth Dock at the time as the parsonage house has not quite finished. In 1773, the Rev. Mydhope WaIIis was serving this parish whilst living at his smal1 family estate of Trethill in Sheviock. He tells us that the parsonage house of St. John lies in the parish of Antony, 100 yards from the church. Another six families had moved into the parish by this time.
The next rector was the Rev. Wallis’s son-in-law, Bryan Roberts. By 1808 a room in the parish was being used by the Wesleyan Society.
The early parsonage house at St. John seems to have had a gatehouse leading into a courtyard in front of the house. This gatehouse, which was thatched, had a dairy on one side of the passage and a cellar (at ground level) on the other. The main house had a hall, to which belonged a table and a chair as part of the fittings, a parlour and two other ground floor rooms with chambers above. Part was thatched and part slate and all the ground floor rooms had earthen floors. The farm buildings were all thatched as was the bakehouse .There were three small cob/stone cottages attached to the living. One on the east side of the churchyard, one on the west and the third above the water conduit (the leat that still runs through the village today). All three cottages had earth floors and thatched roofs and each had a small garden attached.
By 1728 the parsonage house had been much improved. It still had its thatched gatehouse, 32 foot x 16 foot x 14 foot high, and thatched bake house and farm buildings, but the house itself was said to be built partly of stone and partly of brick with a state roof. It was 77 foot long with a two-roomed entry and four ground floor rooms, plus a linney (an open-fronted shed). Above were five chambers plus a study. The study and two of the chambers were plastered, The cottages seem to have gone by this date; there is mention of a waste plot by the churchyard towards St. John’s bridge where one may have stood.
The attached document recently came to light. It makes very interesting reading. It is an inventory of St John Church in 1905, lists of the incumbents over the years and some history.