Category Archives: Church

Church Matters – October 2019


The three words that can save your life – so ran the BBC news headline that recently caught my eye. Reading through the corresponding article I learned of a group of friends who had got lost in a forest on a dark wet night. They had no idea where they were and so, finding a spot with mobile signal, they dialled 999. On answer one of the first things they were asked to do was to download a smartphone app called “what3words”. Having downloaded the app they were able to give three words that precisely gave their location such that they were swiftly found by a search and rescue team.

Having read the article I promptly downloaded the what3words app onto my iPhone to see what it did. The developers of the app have divided the world into 57 trillion squares, each measuring 3 metres by 3 metres, with each square having a unique, randomly assigned three-word address. When you open the app on your phone you’re presented with a grid of squares with your location identified by a blue dot in one of the squares. You can also view the grid superimposed on a satellite picture so you can see exactly where you are in relation to your surroundings. For instance, as I sit here at my desk in the Rectory typing this article, my three-word location is jumps.rationed.nearly. From the satellite picture I can see that the whole Rectory has around 30 squares, and so if I moved to the kitchen I could find myself at refilled.factor.fights. If I were to head over to the Church and stand in the porch I’d be at crop.ballots.drifters.

It’s fascinating to explore the app, and not just to see the sometimes playful combination of words that have been randomly generated (there’s a location within the Stoke Climsland Old School that is executive.dime.agreed). You can see just how powerful it is and why the emergency services can be keen to see it installed on people’s phones. It is far more accurate in pinpointing a location compared with postal codes, and hence in an emergency situation it could literally be a life-saver.

This idea that three words can save your life got me thinking – within the Christian faith we also have three words the can save your life, and those same three words work wherever you are in the world. The words are “Lord Jesus Christ”. Lord – the acknowledgement that there is a God over and above us. Jesus – the earthly embodiment of God who shows us what God is like. Christ – the anointed one, the Messiah, who died for all sins, was resurrected and now waits for us to join him in heaven. For those who have come to understand the full significance of those three words it is not only a life-saver here in our earthly days as we see our lives transformed, but it is a life-saver for the whole of eternity.

Anytime, anywhere, the same three words apply. Lord Jesus Christ.

Tony Stephens

Church Matters June 2019


At this time of year the Church has two festivals – Ascension and Pentecost. Pentecost is the better known of the two, although it is also known as Whitsun. What is now known as the Spring, or late May, Bank Holiday used to be known as Whit Monday as it was associated with Whitsun. Pentecost (Whitsun) moves around in the calendar as it occurs 50 days after Easter which is itself a moveable feast. This year Easter was late and so Whitsun is also late, with Whit Sunday falling on 9th June. Having a Bank Holiday in June would be difficult for a number of reasons and so the Spring holiday is two weeks beforehand on 27th May. So the association between this holiday and the Christian festival is lost. I wonder if already the festival of Pentecost (Whitsun) is as little known as Ascension. Whilst society in general may be less and less aware of these two Christian festivals, in the Church they are still well known – or at least Pentecost is!

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Church Matters June 2109


At this time of year the Church has two festivals – Ascension and Pentecost. Pentecost is the better known of the two, although it is also known as Whitsun. What is now known as the Spring, or late May, Bank Holiday used to be known as Whit Monday as it was associated with Whitsun. Pentecost (Whitsun) moves around in the calendar as it occurs 50 days after Easter which is itself a moveable feast.

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April 2019 – Church Matters


So, another quirky news article headline catches my eye – “How smart car technology could help you sleep” (Lifestyle section of The Guardian, 24 February). The article speaks about a new development by engineers at Ford, the car-maker. They have adapted the Lane-Keeping technology that can be found in many new cars so that it can be incorporated into a double bed. At this point I have to add that I did check the date of the news article, and yes it was 24 February, not 1 April.

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An opportunity to make a difference for the future


There has been a Christian presence in South Hill, serving this local community for over 1000 years, and St Sampson’s Church at South Hill is a special place for many people.  At the community meeting in November people gave over fifty reasons why St Sampson’s is special. These included: ‘a sacred space of Christian worship’, ‘family connections’, ‘the heritage’, ‘part of our history’, ‘a peaceful haven’, ‘thriving congregation’, ‘focal point and heart of the community’, ‘another venue for community use’, ‘a beautiful place of friendship and joy’, ‘a community asset’.

Our parish church is a Grade 1 listed medieval building.  It has a wealth of history attached to it, including being the possible site of the monastery founded by St Sampson in the 6th century and having been Bishop Trelawney’s first parish.  There are lots of things of historical importance both inside and outside the church, such as the 6th century standing stone, the carved apostles on the tower, and the font, which was part of an older church on the site.  At the moment the church is open during daylight hours for anyone to visit and it is an oasis of peace. It would be a such a shame if it was lost to future generations.

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St Sampson’s Unlocked


Time to clear out your shed or loft?

Don’t skip it, Your junk might be someone else’s treasure and it could raise much needed funds for St Sampson‘s Unlocked Project.  Beech Auctions have kindly agreed to sell items in aid of St Sampson’s Church.  This will all help towards making the Church, warm, dry and draught-free with a toilet and kitchen facility.  All you have to do is take your items to Beech auctions (see their web site for details of when http://www.beechauctions.co.uk) and tell them it is for St Sampson’s. Or give me a ring or e mail and if it is not too big I will collect it. 

Judith Ayers  –  07748773416  –  judithayers@yahoo.co.uk

easy fundraising could bring in much needed funds through online shopping,
easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/stsampsonschurch
Please sign up if you shop online.  Every little helps, it really is easy and costs you nothing.
For more info and to support contact Judith Ayers 01579 384617  judithayers@yahoo.co.uk

St Sampson’s Unlocked Vintage Fete  – Tombola

Saturday 15th June 2019

Are you able to donate a prize for the Tombola Stall please?

Prizes required– from shampoo to champagne, preserves to prosecco.  Donations gratefully received – food items such as cans of soup, sauces, noodles, pasta, etc. also small gifts.

Please drop off any donations to:

Sue Tunnicliffe at Windmills, South Hill (leave in porch) tel: 07493 88455
Or Marilyn Tasker at Lambertswell, Golberdon tel: 01579 382849
OR inside St Sampson’s Church porch

Gardens Open in South Hill for National Gardens Scheme


On Sunday 12th May, two South Hill gardens, Anvil Cottage and Windmills, will again be opening their gardens for charity under the National Gardens Scheme from 1.30 to 5 pm.  This year, half of the proceeds will be given to St Sampson’s church as well as to national charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support. 

Anvil Cottage garden is largely the creation of Barbara Clemerson, who for many years wrote a gardening feature for the South Hill Connection.  Windmills is mainly the work of Peter Tunnicliffe who has transformed the garden originally created by Dave Moren. 

The two gardens, which were featured in ‘Cornwall Today’ in 2016, are adjoining, and a combined entrance fee of £5 gets you into both of them.  There will be home-made teas and, of course, plants for sale. For more details and pictures go online to https://www.ngs.org.uk

Church meeting Nov 26th


St Sampson’s Unlocked. Cherished, Restored, Unlocked, Church

St Sampson’s Community meeting Monday 26th November 2018

A great turnout with a packed hall and apologies from another 30 people who couldn’t be there. There were representatives from; The Parish Council, SHARE, WI, Horticultural Society, St Sampson’s PCC, Golberdon girls’ choir, Hall committee, Zumba group, playgroup and from neighbouring local churches. Many thanks to Rev Annabel King who started the meeting and Simon Crosbie from the architect team and Peter Tulloch our photographer. It was a very productive evening, with lots of support shown for the project.

The meeting began with a rousing rendition of the Cornish anthem “Trelawney” and we enjoyed seeing the amazing painting of Lady Trelawney which was kindly lent to us for the evening and the image of Bishop Trelawney given with kind permission from Truro museum. The importance of these esteemed figures being that South Hill was Bishop Trelawney’s first parish when he became a parish priest. Our fabulous quilt depicting St Sampson, made by the South Hill Piece makers group was also displayed along with a wonderful banner created by the local toddler group JAMM.

The importance of community support was stressed, not just in terms of fundraising but in the community demonstrating that they wanted the St Sampson Unlocked project to go ahead.   Continue reading

Church Matters December 2018


The Christmas season is upon us. Have you ever heard people say that Christmas is really for the children? I think the implication is that as we get older the fascination and excitement about Christmas somewhat dies down – we tend not to view it in the same way that we once did. When I look back over my own life I can remember the excitement that I had as a child, the sense of having a good time with friends as a teenager, and then regaining some of the excitement and wonder when having children of my own. In these later years it’s been more about spending time with a grown up family amidst all the church activities – quite a rich combination really.

But what about that thought – Christmas is really for the children. If you’ve ever been around a church at Christmas over the past ten years or so, you’re likely to have come across something called a “Christingle Service”. This is a special event that celebrates the work of The Children’s Society – a charity with Christian roots that works amongst some of the most disadvantaged youngsters and families across the nation. The charity was founded in 1881 by Edward Rudolf, a Sunday school teacher, and it has had a close connection with the Church and the Christian faith throughout its existence.

The work of the charity is quite varied, from activities aimed at ending child poverty, to helping young people access mental health support, and help for those youngsters who have gone missing from their homes. They also engage in activities towards the prevention of child sexual exploitation, alongside support for young carers (those providing support for parents who have ill-health). The charity also takes on political issues where they feel there are voices that aren’t being heard. Continue reading