History of St Paul's, Chacewater

History of St Paul's

The Church of St Paul was built in 1828, but substantially rebuilt in 1892 together with a Lych-gate, using the architectural drawings of Edmund Sedding of Plymouth.

The church has a restrained perpendicular design of elvan and granite and some stone dressings.  The pitched roof is of Delabole slate with a gable end to the east and adjoining the tower to the west.  The lych-gate is built of similar materials with a slate hung gable end, which is surmounted by a Latin cross on an octagonal finial.

Bishop William Carey of Exeter consecrated the original church on August 2nd 1828.  The church included three galleries and had a seating capacity of 1500.  In those days Chacewater was a highly industrialised mining area with many people attending  the church.

Of the original Church only the four stage embattled tower, the second highest in Cornwall, with strings dividing stages of diminishing width, now remains. There is a single bell, 28″ in diameter and 24″ high, made by W. and C.T. Pannell of Collumpton (1828) which was rehung in 1989. The octagonal embattled stair turret is to the east of the north wall rising to a higher level.

On February 3rd 1866 Chacewater Church, which had recently been repaired, was struck by lightning which split the wall from ground to roof. Several windows were smashed into hundreds of pieces which were hurled from the west end up to the pulpit, a distance of ninety feet.

When the church was rebuilt in 1892 the galleries disappeared and the seating capacity was reduced to 500. 

Archdeacon Cornish congratulated Reverend R.F. Fraser-Frizell on the successful restoration which was re-dedicated by Bishop Gott of Truro on December 20th 1892.

As you enter the church through the west door the oak figure of Saint Paul can be found.  This imposing figure was carved by Harry Hems of Exeter. 

In 1983 it was felt the church should be modernised – a new altar was put in place and some of the pews removed to create a  space which is now known as the Common Room. The earlier oak and mahogany grained panels, now within the tower, show The Lord’s Prayer, The Creed and The Ten Commandments written in Gothic style.

The octagonal pulpit of polychrome polished serpentine marble with an open arcade on turned shafts, given to the church by Mrs Fraser Frizell, wife of Reverend R.F. Fraser-Frizell, vicar of Chacewater, is in memory of George Wilkinson, Bishop of Truro (1883-1891).

The nave is forty-five feet high with a barrel roof.  Below is a clerestory with five small arch headed windows to the north and south walls, separated from the aisles by arcades of granite arches and polyphant piers.

The chancel has a slightly projecting gable with a five-light limestone window which came from St Mary's Church Truro (now part of Truro Cathedral) in 1892, with original glass circa mid-late C19. The central figure of Jesus is flanked by Saint Philip, Saint John, Saint James the Less and Simon the Zealot.

In other windows on the south side of the church you will find Our Lady with Child, Martha, a soldier of World War One, St Francis of Assisi and Dorcas.

As the church’s Millennium project in the year 2000, the original two-manual pipe organ was renovated and improved with the addition of more stops.

In 2007 St Paul’s, Truro, closed and they very kindly donated their Crucifix, which now hangs behind the high altar, and their Lectern to St Paul’s, Chacewater.