Friends of Penlee Cluster

A Charity caring for the heritage of our church buildings for future generations (Charity Registration Number 287584)

Our Aims:

  • To preserve and celebrate the unique history of these places of worship.
  • To encourage wider use of these special spaces by locals and visitors.
  • To promote the feeling that these buildings belong to evervone in the community.
  • To raise funds and gain grants for the maintenance of the fabric and development of the facilities of the churches.

What are “Penlee Cluster Churches”?

We are a group of four beautiful and historically significant churches of St Mary, Penzance, St John the Baptist, Penzance, St Peter’s, Newlyn and St Pol
de Leon, Paul.

St John the Baptist, Trewartha Terrace, Penzance.
This very beautiful, Victorian-built church is one of the best examples of Piers St Aubyn’s designs and was built for the people of East Penzance to have a church of their own.
Today the church hosts the Penzance civic service which starts the Golowan Festival – the Feast of John the Baptist
It is now widely used by the local community following the creation of an innovatve national award winning playzone

St Mary the Virgin, Chapel Street, Penzance
A church has stood on this headland since the 12th Century. The present church. which acts as a waymark to the seafaring community was consecrated in 1836. It had to be re-ordered thirty years ago after a huge fire and the spectacular East window was Commissioned.
The church is in constant use by musicians and schools and hosts a wide range of musical events yhroughout the year.
Yet it is also a valued haven of stillness and [rayer for ;ocal people and a large number of visitors

St Peter’s, Newlyn
The foundation stone for St Peter’s Church was laid on St. Peter’s Day 1864. Newlyn was famous for its artists in the early 1900s. In the 1930s the Church’s vicar was the noted sculptor and medallist Alan Wyon who carved the spectacular crucifix with the terracotta relief reredos depicting the ‘Last Supper’ and the striking marble sculpture of the Madonna and Child situated in a niche of the chancel.
Visitors often comment on its picturesque situation by the river and its peaceful atmosphere. Our vision is to adapt the rear of the church to make it a dual purpose building so helping to meet the needs of today’s local community and preserving it as a special place of worship.

St Pol de Leon, Paul.
The Parish of Paul covers the villages of Paul, Mousehole, parts of Newlyn and the rural area surrounding them. As well as functioning as a much loved Parish Church, the building is a popular venue for concerts and houses the Solomon Browne Memorial to the crew of the Penlee Lifeboat who were lost
in 1981.
Heritage wise, the Church still bears the scars of its burning by Spanish invaders in 1595. The Bolitho WW1 Memorial Window is considered one of the most important stained glass windows in Cornwall of any age. The Friends played a major part in enabling its restoration for the WW1 centenary commemorations.

What we do

  • We look for new and exciting ways of engaging with the wider community.
  • We hold exhibitions, concerts and social events to celebrate the historic legacy of our churches.
  • We produce guides and interpretation materials to inform others about the buildings and their social history.
  • We actively seek volunteers to act as hosts and guides so our buildings are open to visitors and pilgrims.

Becoming a Friend

Membership is open to everyone, young and old, those who are just interested in the architecture as well as regular and occasional worshippers.
You can become a Friend of Penlee Churches Cluster by paying for either an annual subscription or a life-time membership.

A Gift in your will can be an expression of gratitude and thanksqiving, and can help keep your local church alive, and transform its future.

Which church will benefit?

You can choose to direct your subscription to one of the four churches in the Cluster or to all four churches.

Our pledge to you

We will keep in touch and update you with regular newsletters and inform you about forthcoming concerts, events and talks.
We will invite you to the Annual Friends of Penlee Cluster dinner as well as a special concert.

Skip to content