March 31, 2023 by Alec Charles
Saint Piran is said to have come to Cornwall more than 1,500 years ago.
Here, he established an abbey at a site just inland from the region’s north Atlantic coast, a place where he became known for his capacity to heal and to give succour to those most in need.
And it was there, most famously, that the molten tin miraculously rose from his black hearthstone to form the cross which bears his name and which stands as the emblem of the land he made his home.
He is a symbol of Cornish character, of Cornish charity and of Cornish faith.
It seems very appropriate then that his cross should be presented each year, on the occasion of the day which marks his life – 5th March, St Piran’s Day – by the Bishop of Truro to recognise those in our diocese who have done great service to the church and to the communities and people of Cornwall.
These awards were first given 12 years ago at St Piran’s Church in Perranzabuloe, a parish whose name continues to honour the memory of this fifth-century saint.
This year’s recipients have once more represented those who have, like St Piran himself, made extraordinary contributions to their communities and hugely positive impacts upon local people’s lives, offering support and fellowship in days of difficulty and times of hardship, and sustaining the gifts of creation and the works of the church.
“The Cross of St Piran Awards are a significant way for us to say thank you to those people in our churches who have gone above and beyond in their service,” said the Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro. “I am humbled and grateful for these people and feel honoured that I am able to recognise their efforts in this small way. While some are involved in work that makes a huge difference, others are quietly working away in the background – but all are helping to keep the Church both fruitful and sustainable in their own communities.”
This year’s recipients of the Cross of St Piran Award are Judy Backus MBE, David Ball, Gillian Beresford-Power, Deirdre Croker, Angela Dickens, Margaret Godley, Charlotte Irwin, Jane LePage, Pam Parnell, Peter Ripley, Fernley Rowe, Helen Watson and Anne Wesley.
The awards ceremonies took place at special services on Sunday 5th March at St Piran’s Church, Perranzabuloe. For the last month, we’ve been publishing profiles of this year’s recipients of the Cross of St Piran Award on our website. These can be accessed by clicking on the recipients’ names: Judy Backus MBE, David Ball, Gillian Beresford-Power, Deirdre Croker, Angela Dickens, Charlotte Irwin, Jane LePage, Pamela Parnell, Fernley Rowe and Helen Watson.