An Afternoon at St Hilary Church

A few weeks ago we were treated to a fantastic afternoon at lovely little St Hilary Church.

Husband and wife team Owen and Carrie Baker, who volunteer at the church, spoke to us about its history.

Lis Davies and tour guide Carrie Baker
Lis Davies and tour guide Carrie Baker

 

We heard about the colourful Rev Bernard Walke who was parish priest at St Hilary from 1913 to 1936, and who was responsible for bringing the glorious Newlyn School art to the church. Walke’s wife, Annie, was an artist and counted among her friends many of the Newlyn artists we all know and love. In the church are works by Ernest and Dod Procter, Norman Garstin, Harold Knight and, of course, Annie Walke herself.

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After our tour of the church, we moved next door to the tearoom above the new St Hilary Heritage Centre where we had a sumptuous cream tea. After our tea, we explored the wonderful collection of documents in the Heritage Centre.

All of us enjoying our cream tea (Alison Latham, Lis Davies, Sue Badcock, Kathy Merrett, Helen Kestle and Gail Allen)
All of us enjoying our cream tea (Alison Latham, Lis Davies, Sue Badcock, Kathy Merrett, Helen Kestle and Gail Allen)

For anyone who hasn’t been, the Heritage Centre is open on weekdays during the summer and the tearoom is open on Wednesdays. Both are well worth a visit!

Before heading back home, we all had a wander around the lovely old churchyard, examining some of the fascinating stones. Norman Garstin and the Procters are all buried here.

Mary Venn, Sue Badcock and Alison Latham in the church yard
Mary Venn, Sue Badcock and Alison Latham in the church yard

A big thank you goes to Kathy Merrett for organising such a fantastic day for us!

(See a few more photos of the day by clicking here.)

 

Upcoming St Hilary Church visit

St Hilary Church
St Hilary Church

Later this month, we have an outing to the lovely St Hilary Church and the adjacent Heritage Centre. For anyone who hasn’t been to the church before, you’ll be amazed at the gorgeous 1920s Newlyn School paintings there.

The church was transformed during Rev. Walke’s time at St Hilary, due in part to his wife Annie who was an artist in Newlyn and whose friends were commissioned to help decorate the church. It’s an extraordinary story!

Penzance-Literary-Festival-2013_largeIt occurred to us that, after our visit, you might be interested in hearing more about Bernard Walke. On Thursday 17 July, there will be a talk about him as part of this year’s Penzance LitFest! Speaker Lesley Michell was instrumental in setting up the St Hilary Heritage Centre and will be talking about Walke’s fascinating life.

If you’d like to come along on the St Hilary Church visit scheduled for 20 June, please contact Kathy Merrett on 757107 or by email on kathleenmerrett@btinternet.com.

To book tickets for the Penzance LitFest, click here.