SAVE OUR SPIRE
We are very pleased to announce that the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin in Par has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for essential repair works to the spire and tower. National Lottery players have made it possible to fulfil the project aims to stabilise and make safe the crumbling 168 year old spire and tower of the church.
Development funding of £25,000, at the 2nd round application, has been awarded to help progress the plans for the church to apply for the full grant at a later date. The present grant will enable surveys to be carried out to see exactly what work is needed in order to cost the whole project and apply for a full grant.
The project will also carry out conservation work in order to preserve and inform the local community and our many visitors, of the two ancient monuments and the extensive varieties of flora and fauna within the churchyard.
The ecclesiastical Parish of Par was formed on January 20th 1846, from portions of the parishes of St. Blazey and Tywardreath and the church was the first commission of the eminent Victorian architect George Edmund Street who is renowned for his work in many places in England, Scotland and even abroad and in the design and building of the Royal Courts of Justice which unfortunately he did not live to see completed, but he was considered worthy to be buried in Westminster Abbey.
The rose coloured Church of St Mary’s was built in 1849 and the Carlyon family of Tregrehan House were instrumental in its positioning - on the edge of their estate, and it was used by the family and their servants for worship. The first vicar of Par, George Rundle Prynne was the vicar of a newly established Parish with no church so commissioned Street to design one. In its design Street produced a church, built using local stone, the most impressive aspect being the square tower with an octagonal belfry, with a spire that was used as a day marker by those at sea, and today is still used as a focal point throughout the area.
In 1957 Sir John Betjeman said “St Mary’s is the work of an artist…….Street is one of the great English Architects. He designed many churches, but I doubt if he ever produced a better church than the honest, simple Parish Church of Par”.
We are very pleased to receive the initial funding which will enable us to plan for the repair of the spire to bring it back to its original beauty and once more provide safe access for our many visitors. This is good news indeed, knowing that we are a step closer to preserving our church for another century.
We are appealing to the whole community who look on St Mary’s as their parish church to help us raise the £100,000 needed for us to comply with Heritage Lottery requirements of a local contribution towards the full cost of the works.
If you feel you can help in anyway or would like to make a donation, however large or small, towards our SOS (Save Our Spire) fund please send to Anne Weaver, 2 Doubletrees, St Blazey, Par, PL24 2LE. Cheques should be made payable to PCC Par. Please annotate the cheque that you are making the donation to our Save our Spire Fund.
Alternatively, please contact our Web Master (through our contacts page) for our PCC's BACs details.