Polmassick is a hamlet in the parish of St. Ewe about half a mile south-west of St. Ewe Churchtown. This profile of Polmassick Bible Christian Chapel was compiled by Mark Mitchley.
Denomination: Bible Christian
Opened: 31st July 1836
Closed: c. 1985
Sunday School: Yes, closed c. 1941 and earliest record 1856.
Sunday School building: No
Sunday School anniversary: June
Current status: Uncertain – a building occupies the chapel’s exact footprint but it is not clear if it is the original building re-clad.
Other: Licensed for marriages 3rd December 1877.
Various records of the chapel survive at Kresen Kernow but these are fragmentary, although a Sunday School register proves the school’s existence form at least 1856. A modern photocopy of the building’s measurements (possibly dating from the chapel’s closure) also exists and reveals that the chapel was 40 feet long one side and 36 feet long the other. It was 23 feet wide at its widest and 18 feet at its narrowest. On the closure of Gorran High Lanes Chapel in 1978, the American reed organ was transferred to Polmassick.
31st July 1836
The Chapel was opened.
1851, Religious census
Completed by St. Ewe Parish Churchwarden and he estimates a date of about 1830 for the founding and estimates room for 150 to 200 worshippers available at the chapel with services in the afternoon and evening attended by 80-100 people each.
Royal Cornwall Gazette, 8th November 1873
‘Veryan: Polmassick Bible Christian Chapel anniversary – The anniversary sermons were preached on Sunday last in the Bible Christian Chapel. On the following Monday the annual tea meeting was held, and was well attended. The ladies who presided over the tables were Mrs. Francis, Mrs. Parnell, Mrs. Seccomb, Mrs Cock, Miss Solomon, and Miss Parnell. In the evening, a public meeting was held, when addresses were delivered by Mr. Shortridge, Mr. Broad and Mr. Duncalf, Mevagissey. The chair was taken by Mr. Moses Parnell. A collection was made at the close of each service in aid of the chapel. Mr. Cock and Miss Parnell presided at the harmonium.’
Royal Cornwall Gazette, 7th December 1877
‘Notice is hereby given, that a separate building named POLMASSICK CHAPEL situate at Polmassick in the parish of St. Ewe, in the county of Cornwall, in the district of St. Austell, being a building certified according to law as a place of religious worship, was, on the third day of December, 1877, duly REGISTERED for SOLEMNIZING MARRIAGES, therein, pursuant to the Act of 6th and 7th Wm. IV., c. 85.
Witness my hand this fourth day of December, 1877.
Robert Gould Lakes,
Royal Cornwall Gazette, 10th June 1887
The chapel collected £1 for the Royal Cornwall Infirmary along with all the other chapels under the care of Rev. H. Ellis (next largest amount, Mevagissey with 15s).
Royal Cornwall Gazette, 5th February 1903
At a collection for the Mevagissey and St. Ewe District Nursing Association, the chapel contributed 10s 6d (c.f. Mevagissey Bible Christian Chapel’s 15s 3d)
The Cornish Guardian, 23rd February 1923
Polmassick U. M. Church: Home and Foreign missionary services were held on Sunday and Wednesday week. Sermons were delivered on Sunday by the Rev. F. Page. The following Wednesday a public meeting was held, presided over by Master O. Hill, the Rev. Bennets giving a satisfactory report., An address was given by Rev. Page.’
The Cornish Guardian, 25th April 1924
‘Polmassick: The United Methodist Church Band of Hope festival on Good Friday, was a successful event. Following a public tea, a festival evening took place, Mr. W. Furze (Mevagissey) presiding.’
The Cornish Guardian, 7th November 1924
‘Polmassick United Methodists: The United Methodists at Polmassick celebrated their 89th anniversary on Sunday and Monday last. On Sunday, the afternoon and evening services were conducted by Rev. E. Hill, of Mevagissey. A public tea was provided on Monday and was well attended. Foe r the evening service, the chapel was well filled. Mr. E. B Vian, of Trelowth, presided. Addresses were given by the circuit ministers (Revs. T. Wilson and E. Hill). An interesting musical programme was given by the River Street Quartette of Mevagissey (Messrs. A. and B. Dudley, A. Hunkin and S. Way). Mr. W. Kent presided at the organ.’
The Cornish Guardian, 10th July 1925
‘Polmassick U. M. Anniversary: The 68th anniversary of Polmassick U. M. Sunday School was held on Sunday and Monday last. On Sunday, Rev. E. Hill, of Mevagissey, delivered interceding sermons to crowded congregations. The River Street (Mevagissey) choir rendered special singing; Mr. H. Roberts presiding at the organ, On Monday, headed by Foxhole Band, the usual march was taken, followed by tea, sports, and games. An open-air meeting was held, addressed by Rev. Hill. Mr. O. Hill presented a most satisfactory report and was thanked for his past services as school superintendent. The whole of the services were highly satisfactory.’
The Cornish Guardian, 14th August 1925
‘Mevagissey: At the 89th anniversary of the opening of Polmassick U. M. Chapel, the preacher was Mr. H. Jelbert, of St. Austell. The following is an extract from the Bible Christian Magazine for 1836: – “A new and commodious chapel has been erected at Polmassick in the Truro Circuit and was opened for Divine Worship on Sunday July 31st 1836, by Bros. Wm. Reed and James Stisdon, whose services were numerously attended. – The total cost of erection was paid by Mr. R. Parnell.’
The Cornish Guardian, 1st January 1926
‘Polmassick: The scholars of the United Methodist Sunday School have again made their Christmas collection on behalf of the National Children’s Home and Orphanage. The amounts collected were: John Marshall, £1 2s 6d.; Donald and Joan Hocking, 10s 6d.; Wilfred Jago, 4s.; Harold Honess, 3s.; making a total of £2.’
The Cornish Guardian, 30th July 1926
Polmassick: In connection with the interchange of pulpits, on Sunday the pulpit was occupied by Mr. T. J. Thomas of Tregony. It was the 90th anniversary of the opening of the United Methodist Church.’
The Cornish Guardian, 15th March 1928
‘Polmassick Church re-opened: The re-opening services of the Polmassick United Methodist Church, after extensive restoration, took place on Wednesday of last week. Mr. J. Bunney presided at a musical service, given by the Pentewan Male Voice Choir, under the conductorship of Mr. F. Tremberth. Mr. Charles Treleaven gave some recitals.’
The Cornish Guardian, 19th April 1928
‘Polmassick Methodists’ Easter Effort: Polmassick Unite Methodist Church’s special Easter effort on Tuesday week took the form of a sale of work, which was opened in the afternoon at St. Ewe Council School. by Mrs. F. Tremberth of Pentewan. The Revs. F. Hill and J. H. Angove supported. A large number partook of tea. In the evening Pentewan U. M. concert party gave an entertainment. Mr. J. C. Rowe of Mevagissey presided. The total takings, over £20, clears the church of the renovation debt.
The Cornish Guardian, 10th July 1941
‘Polmassick Methodists: In connection with Polmassick United Methodist Church an enjoyable and appreciated entertainment was given on Thursday last in the council school at St. Ewe by members of the Pentewan U. M. Choir. The programme consisted of humorous sketches, and choruses; solos by Miss D. Barbery and Mr. Richards, duets by Miss Huddy and Mr. Bishop, Misses Barbery and Bishop; humorous songs by Mr. A. Bishop; and monologues by Mrs. Lee The concert was arranged by Mr. F. Tremberth and Mrs. Tremberth was the accompanist. Rev. E. J. Cole, of Mevagissey, was the chairman.
Polmassick: Polmassick Sunday School anniversary was held on Sunday, the preacher being Mrs. Jenkins of Foxhole. Two evacuees read the lessons and Mrs. W. Kent was the organist, the bright singing being a marked feature of the services. The Home Guard paraded for the evening service, for which the chapel was full. Provisions being given by friends, a tea for Sunday School scholars and a faith tea for adults were provided on Monday afternoon, and Pastor W. Edwards, of Mevagissey, addressed an evening meeting, after which there were games for the children to round off a successful anniversary.’
The Daily Mirror, 11th August 1949
‘Noise? They don’t mind – the children are back – from Robert Glenton. Polmassick, Cornwall, Wednesday.
One day a year in the past eight years the shouts and laughter of children have shattered the silence of this old, Greystone village. But it happened on only one day in every year …
On the other 364 days, the ageing inhabitants usually see only the two youngsters – six-year-old Joyce Jago and Anthony Bramwhite, 4. So, like old people inviting their grandchildren to their homes, the people of Polmassick invite the children of neighbouring villages once a year to tea and games. It is the annual Sunday School outing of a Sunday School which doesn’t exist.
Polmassick’s Methodist Sunday School, you see, had to close down. There hasn’t been a class for nearly nine years. But the annual treat is a great success all the same. “I think it’s the most wonderful day of the year to hear those young voices, “said Mr. William Stevens, 72. Joyce and Steven, the only two left are never invited to the outing. “Bless you,” said Farmer Kent, Methodist preacher, and organist, “they’re not members of our church but they get it all the same.”
The Cornish Guardian, 15th September 1966
‘Re-opening at Polmassick: The re-opening of Polmassick Chapel, near Grampound, after redecoration, on Wednesday last week included a concert by Fowey Male Voice Choir. The Rev. K. Winn, of Mevagissey, opened the service and introduced the chairman, Mr. H. L. Geddes, of St. Austell. Mr. W. J. E. Kent, Trust Secretary, of Polmassick, thanked Mr. Winn, Mr. Geddes, the choir and their conductor, Mr. N. Brady. Mr. Brady played accordion solos, sang songs with a guitar, and played the organ. The little chapel was crowded and there were visitors from nine other neighbouring chapels, and also from London and Yorkshire.’
The chapel was closed.
|28th February 1890||St. Austell Star||Missionary Society sermons by Rev. H. Ellis, of Camelford. Attendance was excellent and £18 was raised (£1 15s 2d better than 1889).|
|11th July 1907||St. Austell Star||Sunday School anniversary services led by Mr. S. E. Harper of St. Austell on Sunday. On Monday the treat was marred by bad weather. Tea in Mr. R. Teague’s barn and the Stenalees Band.|
|24th April 1908||Cornish Guardian||Band of Hope tea on Good Friday with a large congregation.|
|29th September 1922||Cornish Guardian||Harvest Festival services 17th and 18th with address by Mr. T. Barnicoat and tea.|
|8th June 1923||Cornish Guardian||Guild anniversary services led by Mrs. C. Cundy of High Street.|
|18th April 1924||Cornish Guardian||Death of Mr. T. Barnicoat aged 70, who had a forty year prominent association with music at the chapel and assisted with the choir.|
|18th July 1924||Cornish Guardian||78th Sunday School anniversary services with Mevagissey River Street Choir. Next day, walk to St. Ewe followed by tea and Foxhole Prize Silver Band. Rev. F Bennetts presiding.|
|19th December 1924||Cornish Guardian||Concert (‘That Yule-Tide Son’) given by Pentewan U. M. Choir to a very large congregation followed by a coffee supper.|
|27th February 1925||Cornish Guardian||Home and foreign missionary services presided over by Mr. E. J. G. Michell of Boswinger and Mr. P. Johns of Porthleven.|
|13th March 1925||Cornish Guardian||A sacred concert by ‘friends from St. Stephens.’ Rev. E. Hill presided.|
|25th September 1925||Cornish Guardian||Harvest Festival services and the church tastefully decorated. £1 1s raised for Truro Hospital.|
|6th November 1925||Cornish Guardian||Anniversary services led by Rev. S. Pascoe of Penryn. Tea the next afternoon and the Pentewan U. M. Choir. Inclement weather.|
|4th December 1925||Cornish Guardian||Tregoney Wesleyan Choir paid a visit and gave a concert.|
|24th September 1926||Cornish Guardian||Harvest Festival services led by Mr. W. A. Blamey of Portloe. Tea on Monday and the church was ‘very tastefully decorated’ with ‘offerings of a bountiful season’.|
|12th November 1926||Cornish Guardian||Anniversary service led by Circuit Pastor Rev. E. Hill, tea and the Pentewan U. M. Choir.|
|25th March 1927||Cornish Guardian||Musical evening presided over by Rev. E. Hill.|
|22nd April 1927||Cornish Guardian||Special Good Friday service with tea afterwards.|
|23rd September 1932||Western Morning News||Golden wedding William Clough and Loemma Parnall 23rd December 1882.|
|6th July 1939||Cornish Guardian||Sunday School anniversary, the preacher, Rev. W. E. German of Chagford, a former superintendent. Walk to St. Ewe wit the Portloe Silver Band followed by public tea and games.|
|9th November 1939||Cornish Guardian||103rd anniversary services led by Rev. and Mrs. Henry Parsons of Hay with Monday meeting led by Mrs. John Jenkin of Foxhole with the address on ‘Eyes of the soul’. Treasurer’s report reveals account in credit by £9 12s.|
|7th November 1940||Cornish Guardian||105th anniversary service by Mr. W. Grose of Gorran, followed concert on Monday by Mount Charles Bridge Methodist Church.|
|6th November 1941||Cornish Guardian||106th anniversary service by Rev. Solomon, followed by Coombe Methodist Choir and concert on Monday by Bridge Methodist Church.|
|26th April 1950||Western Morning News||Letter from Mr. W. Kent of Polmassick following up the Sunday School without children article.|
|30th September 1954||Cornish Guardian||Harvest Festival service preached by of St. Austell raised £2 9s 6d.|
|20th October 1955||Cornish Guardian||Harvest Festival end service led by Mr. L. Bunney of Boswinger. Total raised: £8 9s 4d.|
|30th January 1969||Cornish Guardian||Funeral at Boswinger of Leonard Charles Bunney of Boswinger and trustee of Polmassick Church (as well as Boswinger, Gorran High Lanes and Gorran Haven).|