St. Morwenna & St. John The Baptist
The Parish Church of St Morwenna and St John the Baptist, Morwenstow, is dedicated to Morwenna (a local saint) and St. John the Baptist, and is part of the United Benefice of Kilkhampton with Morwenstow, within the Diocese of Truro. A non-stipendiary Curate-in-Charge (known locally as ‘the Vicar’) lives in Kilkhampton and is responsible for both churches, each of which has its own Parochial Church Council (PCC).
Morwenstow Church is probably best-known for its links with the 19th century cleric, poet and eccentric, the Rev. R. S. Hawker, Vicar from 1834 to 1875. His vicarage (now a private house) stands nearby. The Church has close and very active links with St. Mark’s Church of England Primary School, located at the nearby hamlet of Shop.
The Church is approached through a lych gate with a slate stile alongside. An adjacent stone and slate building was formerly used as a temporary mortuary, and is still known locally as the ‘Dead House’.
The Church has eight bells and an enthusiastic band of bell ringers. Four of the bells (including a tenor weighing 8 hundredweight) were cast in 1753 and the remaining pair in 1902.
For worshippers and other visitors there is a free car park near the lych gate, with a small car park for disabled visitors accessed from the driveway leading down to the Old Vicarage.
A short stroll out to the cliffs and then south along the Coast Path takes one to ‘Hawker’s Hut’ – the driftwood hut where the Rev.Hawker wrote sermons and poetry and contemplated the sea.