I’ll never forget the first time I drove down towards Rock, turned left down Porthilly Lane, parked in the Marshall’s field and came to St Michael’s Church. I knew I was close to the sea, but as I went down the path and suddenly found that breathtaking view across the estuary opening up in front of me, I stopped in wonder, as perhaps you have done. Perhaps it’s that very experience of wonder that then sends one into the ancient, little church ready for a spiritual experience. St Michael’s Church is part of St Minver parish, and our previous Chapel Warden, Mrs Marjorie Jones, writes: “What brings people to the church in the first place is its unique position on the estuary, with its own sea wall and steps to the beach. Then I hope that when they go into the church they feel a sense of welcome, even if there’s no one there. Visitors often refer to the “special atmosphere” they find there – centuries of prayer? At services, of course, we try to make sure that they get a warm welcome.” It feels a very ancient site, and the History link will tell you more. Just outside the main door there is an ancient celtic cross and if as a visitor on a fine summer’s day you do not want to spend too long inside the church, you could sit on the grassy bank and look past the cross to the sea. There are services every Sunday, and celebrations of Holy Communion on the morning of the second Sunday of the month, but some of us locals know St Michael’s especially as being The Place where you can still attend a Book of Common Prayer Evensong every week. It is a quiet and thoughtful service with a friendly congregation.
St Michael’s is a chapel in the parish of St Minver. When St Samson landed in the Camel estuary in the fifth century on his way to Brittany from Ireland he quite possibly came ashore here. However, nothing is known of a church building here before the present one of eleventh and twelfth century date. St Michael has always been dependant on St Minver. By the thirteenth century the parish of St. Minver was in the hands of Bodmin Priory, and it is possible that the farmhouses at the gate were a grange and rest house of the Priory. By 1284 these two farms, Porthilly Eglos and Porthilly Grey, had already been for some time in lay hands.
Weddings in St Michael’s
St Michael’s is a very popular church for weddings. Seating a maximum of 96 people, it provides an intimate and memorable setting beside the stunningly beautiful Camel Estuary.
For those who wish to get married, please contact initially Revd Elizabeth Wild by email to her or phone her on 07758 407661.
St Michael’s has an enthusiastic and skilled team of flower ladies under the leadership of Jaye Guest, who take great pleasure in organising and arranging wedding flowers in this church if you wish. If you would like to discuss the wedding flowers, please contact Jaye Guest on 01208 863920 or send her an email You may see examples of wedding flowers prepared by this team here and a second selection here.
The Friends of St Minver
The Friends support the maintenance of the church and chapel buildings of St Minver, St Enodoc and St Michael’s Porthilly, in raising funds and being involved with activities, such as the Church Fete.
Click here for more information.
For other contacts, see Who’s Who page
Facilities at St Michael’s