Save Our Spire – An update on the essential repair works to the church of St Mary the Virgin, St Blazey Gate, Par.


Repair work began on 21st March 2019 following delays with the scaffolding structure and the inclement weather. Repointing work from the top of the spire down to the shoulders of the octagonal section of the tower is almost complete.


However, within the main tower there are large sections of stone walling, particularly on the south and east elevation, which are made of Biscovey stone. This has deteriorated at a much quicker rate than the rest of the walling which is of granite and slate. The Biscovey stone is in a much worse condition than anyone imagined and covers a much larger area. Unfortunately, owing to the state of the stone it will need to be replaced with a mix of slate and granite to fit in with the current slate and granite within the tower and spire. The Biscovey stone that is removed, will be retained wherever possible, although this will be very limited owing to the poor condition of the stone.


In addition, the buttress on the lower east side is in a very poor and dangerous condition. Sections of walling immediately adjacent to it will be carefully removed and rebuilt. All this comes at an additional cost of approximately £45,000.


A spokesperson for the SOS project team said “We are determined to see the project progress until completion, as fundamentally the scope of works hasn’t changed and the additional cost is due to unforeseen circumstances that were not forecasted by any professional during the preliminary investigations. The whole community had been very supportive, which is a further reason for finishing the project. It is only the cash element restricting us from saving our beloved and historic church building for the next century. Fundraising therefore must continue in order to finance the additional money still required. To this end we are running a ‘200’ club and an open garden event on 10th August at Old Stone Barn, Bodiggo, Luxulyan, PL30 5DR.


Now, more than ever, we need the support of the whole community to allow us to repair the spire, save the church from closure and bring it back to its original beauty.”





We wish to gratefully acknowledge the following generous donations received towards the cost of the repairs to the tower and spire at our Church, St Mary the Virgin, St Blazey Gate.  Without these many donation, great and small,  we would not have been able to undertake his extensive, essential maintenance work.


Jeanne & Henry Webber
Sylvia Upson

Wolfson Foundation

Ven Rodney Whiteman

The Ship Inn Par

The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation

The ‘Save Our Spire ‘Project Team

The Elderberries Club

T Mahoney Esq

Stephen Spires Esq

St Blazey Carpets

St Blaise Town Council

Soup’N’Sweet Team

Rural Churches Repair Fund

Rotary Club of St Austell Bay

Roseland Shantymen

Roland Johnson Esq

Roger Tappin Esq

Rock Choir Cornwall

Revd B Saunders

R Collingbourn Esq

Prize Bingo Team

PL24 Community Association

Peter & Joy Stone

Parochial Church Council Par

Par Whist Group

Par Parish Choir

Par Carnival

Ms Carol Sweet

Mrs Valerie Allen

Mrs Sandy Latham

Mrs Patricia Sleeman

Mrs Pat Bradley

Mrs Mary Frost

Mrs Marion Pearson

Mrs M Cattell

Mrs Lynn Holmes

Mrs Lydia Brammer

Mrs Lorna Curtis

Mrs Kath Vennard

Mrs June Swonnell

Mrs June Carter

Mrs Julia Henderson

Mrs Joy Romary

Mrs Joan Perry

Mrs Jenny Edwards

Mrs Jeanne Rundle

Mrs Jean Richards

Mrs Jean Langdon

Mrs Jane Jeffries-Jones

Mrs Irene Cox

Mrs Heather Schmitzer

Mrs Florence Jobes

Mrs Diana Osborne

Mrs Betty White

Mrs Beryl Lavender

Mrs Barbara Thurston

Mrs Anne Weaver

Mrs Anne Tregunna & Mrs Lorna Curtis

Mr Derek Heyward Tree Services

Mr Aaron Moss

Mr & Mrs Alan Bartlett

Miss S Ponsford

Miss Micky Mitchell

Miss L C Riley

Michael Ryan Esq

Michael Langley Esq

Marlene & Patrick Couch

Mark Dunkley Esq

M Smith Esq

Lorna & Brian Curtis

Little Lambs toddler group

Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme

Lance Foy Organ Builder

Ken Newcombe Funeral Directors

K Skinner Esq T/A Cubenet

Jill & Chris Hore

Jake & Olivia Loewendahl

Julia & Mark Bartlett

John Boothroyd Esq

Jill Franklin Foundation

Janet & Bob Reid

J R Ferguson Esq

Ivor Johns Esq

In Memory of Marjorie Sampson dec’d

In Memory of Jean Menear dec’d

In Memory of Beryl Lavender dec’d

In Memory of Barbara Carrivick dec’d


Ian Webster Esq

Highway Garage


Gribbin Trefoil Guild

Graham & Ann Dewings

George & Beryl Sweet

Garth Wright Esq

Garfield Weston Foundation

Friday Coffee & Crafts Group

Financial Advice Centre

Elaine & Nigel Cheshire

Ecclesiastical Insurance Company

Dr David M Elliott

Derek Carrivick & the Gott Hall Music Workshop

Dennis & Brenda Elliott

December Magazine Christmas Greetings pages

Dawson Steeplejacks

David & Valerie Perry

David & Karen Leaity

D Mitchelmore Esq

Crown Carpets St Blazey Gate

Crowdfunder supporters

Councillor Jordan Rowse

Cornwall Trefoil Guilds

Cornwall Historic Churches Trust

Collecting tins, buckets & ‘Spire’

Chris & Jill Hore

Carmen Williams & Penny Carrivick

Cantante Domino & Madrigali

Britannia Inn

Brian & Lorna Curtis

Betty White

Barrie & Jean Galley

Avril & Rex Wilton

Arthur Rostock Esq

Anne & John Tregunna

All who donated at the Parish Gift Day

All those who knitted squares for the Spire ‘Scarf’’

All tax payers who ‘Gifted’ their donations through H.M.R.C.

All Churches Trust

A E Trodd Esq

A Cory Esq

All volunteers who plan, prepare and run our many fundraising events.

Windows into the Past’ Walking trail booklet

PL24’ Carols & Mince Pies

Made & Grown in PL24’



Save Our Spire – Essential repair works to the church of St Mary the Virgin, St Blazey Gate, Par.

We are delighted to announce that following on from the initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin in Par has now been successful in receiving a further grant of up to £198,600 toward the estimated project cost of £305,665. This equates to 65% of the total estimated cost of the project.

Led by the project team, the whole Parish and beyond have been actively working towards raising the remaining £107,065. To date, £65,322 has been secured leaving £41,743 to go. Several future events have already been planned including a concert by the Rock Choir & The Gott Hall Music Group.

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 whose work culminated in the design and building of the Royal Courts of Justice.


The church 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. 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.


Commenting on the award, Diana Osborne, a member of the project team said: “This is fantastic news! We are delighted that we have received further support from the National Lottery players. The pretty rose coloured church, with its distinctive spire, has been a focal point in the area since it was built. We have been very active in trying to raise the remaining money. We are not there yet but we are a step closer to preserving our church for another century. Every church member is committed to working to avoid the closure of St. Mary the Virgin since we have been recently added to Historic England ‘At Risk’ register. Now, more than ever, we need the support of the whole community to allow us to repair the spire and bring it back to its original beauty. ”




The History of our 'SAVE OUR SPIRE' Appeal

In 2016, our 5 yearly inspection of St Mary's church, by the Diocese of Truro, identified that condition of the tower and spire had deteriorate over the years and now requires urgent work to ensure their structural integrity.  Failure to do so will soon render the tower unsafe for continued use and the church will need to close.


In 2017, we therefore launched our SOS Appeal to financial this work. As part of our appeal, we submitted a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for their financial support to repair the spire and bring it back to its original beauty, once more providing safe access for all our parishoners and our many visitors.

We were fortunate to be awarded initial development funding of £25,000 by the HLF, in order to progress the proposed plans, for the church to apply for the full grant at a later date. The grant enabled surveys to be carried out to identify precisely what work is needed, in order to cost the whole project and apply for a full grant. This was excellent news, knowing that we were a step closer to preserving our church for another century.


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 Parochial Church Council's BACs details.