About St. Hugh’s
St. Hugh’s is the parish church of Quethiock in South-East Cornwall. The church is open every day and anyone is welcome to take advantage of an opportunity for quiet reflection and prayer in a beautiful, peaceful and interesting space.
This building dates back at least to the early 13th century when there is documentary evidence of the sale of the advowson (or right to choose the incumbent and collect the tythes). The site and surrounding graveyard are probably much earlier and there is a nearby well locally named as St. Cadoc’s well. St. Cadoc was a well documented 6th century Welsh missionary. There is an impressive churchyard cross, standing around 4m tall and probably dating to the 10th century.
The church is cruciform in layout and includes a chancel, nave, north aisle, two chapels in the transept (one truncated by the later north aisle), a bell tower and porch. The east end of the north aisle is taken up with a 1905 Heard & Son of Truro organ and the vestry. There was much rebuilding and remodelling in the later 13th and 14th centuries but most of the decorative elements now seen are the work of the Rev. William Willimott, incumbent 1878-88 and an archetypal Victorian ‘Arts and Crafts’ clergyman. For more detail on the church fabric, furnishing and memorials see the tour guide.
A service is held in the church on the first, second, third and fourth Sundays of the month, with a group service being held somewhere in the benefice – St. Hugh’s is part of the Tribute Cluster of churches – on the fifth Sunday. Everyone is welcome to attend services and these are usually followed by refreshments and a chance to socialise. Service times are advertised on this website, in the bi-monthly ‘Hello from St. Hugh’s‘, the Quethiock newsletter and on the church noticeboard.
Children from Quethiock Church of England Primary School (part of the St. Barnabas Multi Academy Trust) visit St. Hugh’s several times during the year and there is a display in the Trehunsey Chapel illustrating and explaining the school’s key values of Respect, Courage, Service, Compassion, Creativity and Faith. There is a dedicated children’s ‘area’ in the church with toys and books.
The congregation, PCC and other ‘friends’ organise events throughout the year which involve the wider community and raise much needed funds. ‘Ploughman’s & Pud’ is held on the last Friday of each month (not December) in the Parish Hall and is a popular venue for an inexpensive light lunch – with delicious home-made puddings! Continuing with the baking theme, St. Hugh’s has a regular cake stall at the village Farmers’ Markets and Horticultural Show. Earlier this year, exhibitions of wedding dresses and photographs from bygone days filled the church and St. Hugh’s (pop-up) cafe provided cream teas and cake for visitors to the Jubilee Celebration weekend at St. Hugh’s. The Jubilee Carnival and an autumn Tractor Run boosted church funds substantially. As is the case with many rural parish churches, St. Hugh’s struggles to raise enough income to meet everyday running costs.
Local charities, such as Liskeard and Callington Foodbanks and Baby Basics, are supported through donations in cash or kind. At certain (publicised) times of year, collections are made in church and delivered to the relevant charity. The Children’s Society is also supported through the collection box scheme.
The churchyard has been ‘closed’ for nearly a century with only the interment of cremations being permitted. A cemetery is situated just outside the village. There is an impressive array of largely 18th and 19th century headstones with one or two enclosed burials. There is one Commonwealth war grave from the First World War. Many of the graves have been recorded and details of these can be ‘searched’ on websites such as Findagrave.com. The churchyard is cared for with nature in mind and is only cut two or three times a year. It is renowned for an impressive display of primroses in Springtime and a variety of different grasses and wild flowers later in the year. A small band of volunteers manage the site.