Parish of Mount Hawke with Mithian
Situated about 6 miles from Truro, in the Deanery of Powder, the Parish covers an area of 7200 acres; it serves a population of some 4800. The population is concentrated in several villages which have undergone expansion and some regeneration in recent years.
Porthtowan, with some 1000 residents, has a popular surfing beach, with holiday as well as residential accommodation. The village is well served by bar-restaurants and a range of resort related small businesses, and has a modern purpose built village hall, well used by community groups including a playgroup .
Mount Hawke is a former mining village 1.5 miles from the coast; it has a population of about 1500, It has several community halls, and active social groups, including WI and Cricket club, and our Church social outreach activities. Its primary Academy has an ‘excellent’ Ofsted rating and is expanding rapidly by adopting a two form intake, currently having some 240 pupils; there is also a village playgroup. There are two convenience stores, one with a postal facility, a florist, a Bar-restaurant and a doctors’ surgery. There is a thriving skate park SK8 with IT Training facility, which has grown from a youth group once held in the church hall. The village still retains the feel of a local community, and has very few holiday/second homes
Blackwater and Mithian further inland each have about 600 people, also very good schools, with 120 and 110 pupils respectively, and each support a similar range of facilities and small businesses.
The parish has long been an attractive location for retirement; more recently families have been increasingly attracted to the area by the coastal location, with very good commuter links to nearby towns and to coastal resorts, and by the three very good schools in the Parish together with several pre-school providers. Most children progress to secondary education at the Richard Lander School in Truro, and then go on to Truro College.
As well as the village centres there are also numerous individual family and farm dwellings spread throughout the extensive area of countryside .
The Parish has one Anglican Church, St John the Baptist Parish Church in Mount Hawke; the church at Mithian (St Peter’s) has been closed since 2008, has been sold, and is being converted to a private dwelling.
We have a refurbished church hall which is used by community groups as well as the congregation; the church hall at Mithian has also been sold for conversion into a dwelling. There is an almost-full graveyard attached to Mithian Church, with a fund for upkeep, presently administered by the Diocese. The graveyard at Mount Hawke is administered by the civil Parish Council.
The Church building, which was dedicated in 1877, is a plain, typical mid-Victorian building, but has a welcoming interior which generates favourable comment from visitors.
Other churches within the parish are the Methodist Churches at Mount Hawke, Porthtowan and Mawla, the Community Church at Blackwater (in Blackwater Village Hall), and the Soul Café, which meets twice a month at in the Village Hall at Porthtowan.
We have a service each Sunday at 11am; that on the first Sunday of each month is a service of the Word, usually conducted by our Local Worship Leader or a deacon; the others are Eucharists, said on the third Sunday (when we use a different version of the service) and sung on the others. Our Vicar leads a quiet and thoughtful short service on Saturday mornings at 9am.
We have “Open the Book”, jointly with St Agnes, which goes into 2 of the local Primary Schools.
We share five services a year with our local Methodists in both churches, and enjoy each other’s social events.
We hold monthly social or fund raising events which are well supported, some dedicated to charity support, providing significant social outreach into the community. A popular initiative is a monthly midweek ‘Tea at Three’ especially for the lonely and housebound, with transport provided for those lacking confidence to leave their homes unaccompanied, and we hold film afternoons three or four times a year, helped by a local arts organisation.
We have a team of folk who read the lessons and lead intercessions, and an occasional choir who assist at Christmas, Easter and Harvest.
Our Electoral Roll has 40 people on it, and the average Sunday attendance is between 20 and 30, of whom the majority are in the 60 – 80 age range. Obviously most of our members are retired, but in terms of their past employment they are a cross-section of the local population.
Our Churchmanship is middle of the road; we use Common Worship, the priest is usually robed, but we enjoy an informal friendly atmosphere; we use Mission Praise as our regular hymn book.
There are usually study courses in Lent and Advent, generally ecumenical.
We are fortunate to have the services, part-time, of a self-supporting priest, a retired priest who lives in Mount Hawke and takes a full part in the life of our church, a part-time deacon, and another recent retiree who lives nearby.
In addition we have a Local Worship Leader and 2 Lay Pastoral Ministers.
Home and hospital visits are made informally by other congregation members, as well as by the LPMs, and we aim to look after each other, and members of the wider community.
Our associate priest takes occasional informal services at the local community centre, which are much appreciated, and congregation members are involved with other local groups and projects, ensuring a Christian presence at the heart of our community.
We pay our full MMF quota, and clergy expenses are paid in full.
We support the Redruth Food Bank through a weekly collection of goods, St Petroc’s Society for the single homeless through a coffee morning and retiring collections, and the Children’s Society through a coffee morning and individual collection boxes.