St Terminus

St Erney Altar, Reredos, Panelling, Altar Rails and Choir Stalls
Altar, Reredos, Panelling, Altar Rails and Choir Stalls at St Erney

Beacham & Pevsner (2014 p. 536) says of the work below ‘furnishing of 1928, good quality’.

Altar, Reredos, Panelling and Altar Rails – Photograph (PWDRO 116/74 & 244/2) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1928-29

These items were photographed together in the workshop before dispatch. A faculty petition was submitted in May 1928 for alterations to the chancel area, including installation of a new altar, erection of a reredos and panelling, replacement of Georgian altar rails with oak ones and fitting of a new clergy stall (CRO D/R 6/17). The design of the reredos by R.F. Wheatly is very similar indeed to the one at Perranuthnoe installed three years earlier. Architect’s plans dated 1927-28 for all of this work are held at CRO (AD889/12). In April 1929 it was reported that the Archdeacon of Bodmin dedicated the new furnishings, carved by Miss V. Pinwill of Plymouth (Western Morning News, 1929). Most of the items were memorials: the reredos and panelling to the Revd Frederick John Behenna (died 1927), vicar for 31 years, and the altar rails to Charles Oakley Steed of Poldrissick (died 1925).

Clergy Stall – Photograph (PWDRO 244/2) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1928-29

The clergy stall is photographed separately before leaving the Pinwill workshop but was included in the same faculty petition submitted in May 1928 as the items above (CRO D/R 6/17). It bears an inscription dated 1928 stating that it was presented by the wish of the late Mrs Julie Geake in memory of ‘many dear ones’ buried at St Erney.

Font Cover – Photograph(PWDRO 116/74) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1936

An identical font cover was made for the mother church of Landrake about 18 years later.

Pulpit and Choir Stalls – Newspaper article (WMN, 1936b) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1936

Although the pulpit and choir stalls are not represented in photographs in PWDRO, there is plenty of evidence for their provenance. Some of the plans at CRO (AD889/12) appear to have been prepared by Violet Pinwill. A faculty petition submitted in May 1936 for the placing of new pulpit, belfry screen (see below), font cover and choir stalls states that the work would be carried out by Miss Pinwill at an estimated cost of £350 (CRO D/R 14/7). Finally, photographs of all three pieces appeared in the Western Morning News in November 1936, under which it was reported that the work had been executed by Miss V. Pinwill of Plymouth, with R.F. Wheatly as architect. On the wall at the back of the church is a plaque dated 1936 stating that the pulpit, choir stalls, screen and font cover were placed in the church by Lydia Mary Dyer Browne in memory of her parents Solomon and Emily Mercy Buller Browne and her sister Emily Julia Buller Browne.

Belfry Screen – Faculty Petition (CRO D/R 14/7) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1936

Not only are there no photographs of the belfry screen in PWDRO but there are no plans in CRO or newspaper articles either. The faculty petition for items including the belfry screen does state, however, that the work would be carried by Miss Pinwill. All the work listed in the faculty petition was financed by Lydia Mary Dyer Browne.

Parclose Screen – Plan (CRO AD889/12) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1928-29

A three-bay parclose screen was designed for the north side of the chancel but was either never made or has been removed in the intervening years.


Beacham, P. & Pevsner, N. (2014) The Buildings of England. Cornwall. Yale University Press, London.

CRO AD889/12 Plans. St Erney. Altar, Reredos, Panelling, Screen, Altar Rails, Clergy Stall, Choir Stalls, Pulpit and Font Cover.

CRO D/R 6/17 Faculty Petition. St Erney. Internal Alterations.

CRO D/R 14/7 Faculty Petition. St Erney. Pulpit, Belfry Screen, Font Cover and Choir Stalls.

PWDRO 116/74 Photographs. St Erney. Altar, Reredos and Font Cover.

PWDRO 244/2 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.

Western Morning News (1929) St. Erney’s Late Vicar. Memorial Altar and Reredos to be Dedicated. 22 April p. 5.

Western Morning News (1936) Memorial Gifts to St. Erney Church. 24 November p. 8.