History of St. Keverne Church
Frank Curnow

words have a way of floating
around like airborne seeds
waiting for the right time,
the right place
and the right person
before settling in the right soil..........
 George Griffiths

Over eighty years ago, a Vicar was appointed to St. Keverne, a man who loved words and who came to love the village. He undertook to compile a history of the parish taken from many and varied documents. When he left in 1913, his work was still unfinished, and it was left in the care of Mr. P. D. Williams of Lanarth.

For years it remained forgotten in a cupboard - it seemed no-one was interested in all those carefully written words. Finally they came into the hands of Frank Curnow, and over the past years he has referred to many of the individual articles in the collection of manuscripts, when writing one of his essays for the Parish magazine.

When I came to live in St. Keverne, being a keen amateur historian, I began to ask many questions. Most were answered in the following way, "Ask Frank."
I soon discovered what nearly everyone else in the village takes for granted, Frank nearly always does know, or knows someone else who does. Frank was born in the village and has lived here all of his life. One can easily detect that the words 'village' and 'life' in Frank's personal dictionary are one and the same. He is a generous, open-hearted Cornish gentleman, always with time to spare to answer any questions. Throughout his life he has made scrapbooks of newspaper cuttings, recorded village events with his camera, meticulously made notes and remembered minute facts.

When the appeal was made for the renovation of our Church spire, it presented just the opportunity to bring Canon Diggens'work into the public eye for the benefit of his Church. He intended this word picture to be a comprehensive one, so together, Frank and I, have enlarged on his original notes. We have added memories of older villagers, some who remember him in the long off golden days of their childhood - we are sure he would have approved. He died at Saltash on the 15th April,1916, perhaps saddened by the fact that one of his ambitions had not been fulfilled.

So this is a miscellany of words, words used in official documents, parish poor accounts, history books, private letters and notebooks, recorded conversations and essays. Words that tell of sorrow, work, play, happiness and fear - words of a Cornish village.

We hope for these words - the time is now right.

Jill Newton. March 1981.

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History of St. Keverne Church, by Frank Curnow, Churchwarden for 29 years.

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