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A Warm Welcome to The Waterside Benefice 

The Future as ‘The Waterside Churches’

  • Many ambitions become possible with shared resources and talents as we seek to strengthen and share our Christian faith.
  • Mission – growing our churches by taking our faith into the community, supporting and serving our parishes, strengthening and maturing our congregations.
  • Children’s Work – building on the welcome of local schools, and the work of Messy Church, Holiday Clubs and Open the Book. It is vital that we reach out to the young in our communities, as well as other age groups.
  • Pastoral – training and developing pastoral teams.
  • The opportunity to create a common vision for the future of the three ‘Waterside Churches’ is both exciting and welcome. We share a thirst to develop our Churches in numbers and maturity, to promote the message and values of the Kingdom in our communities and introduce children to a life of faith. 
Our vision for the future

We welcome Rev'd. Karen Wilson, and are excited by the prospect of working with her. Together we shall be looking to: 

  • Nurture and care for the existing congregation and encourage them in their faith and spiritual life.
  • Lead and help to develop ways of widening the involvement in church life by the wider community.
  • Lead and support the teams in the three parishes in this new grouping and encourage greater interaction between them.

The Waterside Benefice

The Pastoral Scheme has been approved by Bishop Philip (on 20th September), which is good news indeed!

As of 1st October 2021 we will be known as The Waterside Benefice. Huge thanks to all who were involved from the parishes in the Pastoral Scheme and who have shown a dedication to working together as a benefice. It has been a long process, working through the lockdowns and the pandemic.

The Waterside benefice will remain in the Powder Deanery and our Rural Dean is The Revd Marc Baker. The deanery chapter meet on a regular basis to discuss our churches and to celebrate what is happening in our own patches as well as finding ways of working more closely together. 

This is a time to celebrate as we become a benefice of three churches: St Feock, St John and St Petroc and St Piran's. It is also a time to look forward and to see where God is calling us to in the future. Being a benefice enables us to work together, to share knowledge, to support each other, to pray for one another and to include one another in our plans and activities.

Each of the three parishes has its own identity and this will not be diluted by becoming a benefice. Each parish will retain its own PCC and will be represented by three members each on the JCC. Working in the three parishes over the last two months has given me the opportunity to learn about the strengths of each of the parishes and also where to support them as we move forward.

Please do keep checking this website for more details of our plans for the future and how you can be involved. It is always good to see new faces and to have new ideas brought forward. The benefice is an inclusive body where everyone is welcome. It is for each and every member of the communities of Feock, Devoran, Carnon Downs, Perranarworthal and Perranwell. 


Where we are going:

We believe that our mission is to know God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and to make him known among the people of our parishes. We set out below our priorities: to know God, serve our parishes and reach out to others.

1. Knowing God:

We worship God faithfully and in a variety of ways, such as services of Holy Communion, Messy Church, Book of Common Prayer, Matins, informal ‘Worship For All’, Service of The Word and Family Services.

The three churches understand the need to assume greater responsibility for mission and ministry and welcome the greater resource available within The Waterside Churches to develop our discipleship with Bible study, Prayer groups and Pastoral Care teams,

Within the Benefice there are active Lent Groups, Fellowship evenings, a holiday club for local youngsters and a book club, where people explore their faith.

All our churches are open for everyone in the parishes to come for moments of quiet contemplation and prayer.

2. Serving our parishes:

We have three churches with vibrant and active congregations engaged with their wider communities by way of lunch clubs, coffee mornings, film and holiday clubs for the young, Brownies/Guides and much more.

With increasingly elderly and diminishing congregations we are conscious of our need to embrace all age groups in our ministry and to provide a witness to the children and young families in our parishes.

Weddings, funerals and baptisms introduce many members of the communities to our churches, often for the first time. We would plan to give more formal support and follow-up to these events and, with the greater expertise and experience within the three churches, provide a possible signposting service to other agencies when needed.

3. Reaching out to others:

We support the wider mission of the church in Cornwall and beyond with prayerful interest and practical support for local and international charities, such as for example, St. Petrocs, Send a Cow and Pearl of Africa.

Working together we can provide a sharper focus and wider resource to this outreach work.

Where we are now:

Full descriptions of the background and activities of the three churches are given later in the profile.

The onset of the pandemic in March’20 interrupted a Lent study programme which had drawn wide support from across the three parishes. We have continued in recent months to adapt our worship with ‘virtual’ meetings and services. Coronavirus has challenged every part of society as well as testing faith. During the lockdown, when physically attending church was not possible, services via Zoom were quickly arranged. As soon as ‘lockdown’ was eased, we laid on ‘Service of the Word’ and our churches opened for prayer. We are gradually returning to other types of service and worship, as we strive to help our communities through the pandemic. We also ensured that members of our congregations and communities kept in touch with each other and arranged practical help when and where needed. The crisis has actually meant that we are closer together in faith and people are now more ‘connected’ than before.

A virtual prayer group meets Monday to Thursday at 8.30am. This was formed to pray together during transition and, now established, we look forward to continuing as a Waterside prayer group.

Teams from each church met regularly by Zoom to discuss the many practical implications of the new venture and to agree a pattern of services for the coming months. Please see our Services & Events Page for details. 

We have recognized the increasing value of internet and social media in reaching much larger audiences and improving our communication. You are reading our new website and we hope it provides the information you are looking for. Please do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything you can't find.  

Where we have come from:

We are a newly formed group of churches in the parishes of Devoran, St Feock and Perranarworthal, close to the city of Truro in Cornwall. For the past ten years we have been part of the 8 Saints Cluster, an informal grouping of churches distributed over a large part of mid-Cornwall. It had become increasingly apparent that this structure was too large and too disparate to be managed effectively. In February 2020 the three parishes bordering the southern outskirts of Truro approached the Archdeacon with a proposal to form a new group which we have subsequently called The Waterside Churches, reflecting the significance of water in the Christian faith and the proximity of all three churches to the water.

The three rural parishes have a great deal in common with a shared understanding of our mission and priorities. Resistance to change is giving way to an enthusiasm for new thoughts and ideas and the opportunities that shared mission offers. Karen has been ‘in at the start’ and will, therefore, b​e an integral part of our new journey. We are excited by the prospect of working with her as we believe her to have the energy, vision, bravery and innovation needed to shepherd us on our journey. 



St. John and St. Petroc, DEVORAN


The church of St. John and St. Petroc sits above the village of Devoran on the banks of Restronguet Creek. The parish also includes the village of Carnon Downs, with its rich history of mining and the hamlets of Point and W. Penpol, which surround the pool of Penpoll Creek. Our pretty church was opened in 1856 and designed by J. L. Pearson, who was the architect for Truro Cathedral some years later. It is in a good state of repair, having recently undergone major work to its stonework and the décor is complemented by a faithful and skilled group of flower arrangers. The church is kept unlocked every day and is available for private prayer and meditation.


The Congregation and Services

The congregation at Devoran is predominately elderly and the electoral roll has fallen over recent years. We do, however, have a small number of families who attend fairly regularly and it is our wish to encourage and build on this foundation. The roll currently numbers 66 persons.

Some services are led by a Reader or a Worship Leader with an increasing reliance on retired clergy. The congregation takes an active part in services in guiding intercessions, readings and leading worship. We have both Common Worship and BCP Services. An average of 25-30 are present at Sunday Eucharist, and midweek Communion and Sunday Evensong have small but faithful attendances. An All Age Worship is held once a month and an occasional Celtic style services is also well received.

Children’s participation is especially encouraged and a children’s pack, linked to the readings, is provided each Sunday, and sent out by e-mail to each family. 

A great deal of pastoral support is provided at present on an informal and ad hoc basis.


Children and Youth Work.

Our local Primary school, which has recently relocated to a new building in the village, is a popular school with some 200 pupils. We have a good relationship with the current Head who has encouraged the continued involvement of church members in the life of the school: in assemblies and project work. In recent years the school Christmas Carol Service has been held at the church with over 100 pupils, parents and teachers attending, and our Crib Service on Christmas Eve usually has some 120 children and parents in the church. Children’s workshops have been held on the Saturdays before special services and proved successful.

A ‘Carnon Valley Messy Church’ was established in 2016 in partnership with the Methodist Chapels and meets monthly in Devoran Village Hall. Some of the parents and children are now beginning to attend services in church.

Uniformed Organizations have links with the church and attend certain services. Until recently a youth group, with little involvement from the church, met weekly in the Centre for an evening’s activities during term time. Discussions are now taking place to form a new youth group, with a different focus, to provide some worship and spiritual growth to the top junior age group.

There is a significant and continuing development of new houses in the area, mainly in Carnon Downs, providing a welcome boost to the number of young families in the Parish.

The Parish Centre and other Meeting Places

  • The Parish Centre adjoins the church to the North of the Nave and was formally opened in 1991. The Centre has a kitchen and office and provides a venue for social gatherings, clubs and meetings.
  • The Village Halls in Devoran and Carnon Downs have recently been renovated and host a wide variety of classes, clubs, markets and Messy Church. The Carnon Downs Hall with its modern facilities and versatile rooms make it a particularly valuable resource.
  • The quays at Devoran and Point are popular venues for annual regattas and open-air services.


The parish is a member of the ‘Churches Together’ movement.

Christians Together up the Creek’ includes the parishes of Devoran and Feock, the local Methodist chapels in Devoran, Carnon Downs, Feock and W. Penpol, Roman Catholics and Quakers. Among other events, a well-attended annual open-air service is organised in Carnon Downs and there is excellent support for the Good Friday ‘Walk of Witness’.

Special services and events.

The church at Devoran has, through the various sub-committees of the PCC, maintained a programme of special services and events to involve our local community and raise funds to support local and international charities.

  • Services at Easter, Christmas, Remembrance Day, Ecumenical services etc.
  • Soup lunches and harvest suppers.
  • Fetes, Bazaars, Exhibitions, Lantern parades.

Village events in the Parish provide an opportunity to make the Church more visible at Regattas, Village Markets, Pub evenings and Carol Singing. The Parish News Magazine was replaced several years ago by a website and Facebook page. That website is no longer current because we have moved on and now feature as one of the three Waterside Churches within this website.  Christmas Cards are delivered around the Parish each year and posters are a regular feature around the Parish.

At Devoran Church you will find :

  • A faithful and welcoming congregation eager to set out on this new adventure alongside the churches at St. Feock and Perranarworthal.
  • An ambition to build on the developing work among children and young people.
  • An enthusiasm to realise the opportunities provided by The Waterside Churches.



Saint Feock Parish consists of a small village surrounded by farmland and borders the estuary of the Fal River with its pleasure sailing and oyster fishing fleets. The parish sits about four miles outside the ‘great little city’ of Truro and has a mixture of housing, predominantly owner occupied and in the upper echelons of the market. The population has a very high proportion of active and well-motivated retired people. Although reliable records show there has been some sort of church on the present site since the 12th century, the present church was built in 1876.

The Congregation

The congregation at St Feock is elderly with attendance on a regular Sunday of around 45. Members of the congregation assist with intercessions, readings and serving at the altar. There is also a strong mixed adult choir of 14 with most Sundays mustering 8 – 12. The RSCM affiliated choir lead hymn singing and anthems during communion services and also sing at occasional weddings or funerals. Our flower ladies are extraordinarily talented and the church is always beautifully decorated. Despite the age of the congregation, they are very loyal, supportive and give a warm welcome to visitors.

Where we are now

We have recently moved to one Service on Sunday mornings at 10 am, and this is currently a mixture of Communion and Services of the Word. At Christmas we traditionally have Carol and Christingle services as well as a Midnight Communion on the 24th December and, of course, a full service on Christmas Day. We also have special services for Maundy Thursday, St Feock Feast, Palm Sunday – complete with donkeys – and an All Souls Service which has become increasingly popular with those, not normally in our congregation, who wish to light candles in remembrance of loved ones.

Many of us join a Good Friday Walk of Witness which is a combined effort of Anglicans, Methodists and Society of Friends (Churches Together Up The Creek).

Palm Sunday at St.Feock

In 2020 we ran a very successful Lent Course drawing in participants from as far as Truro and we would hope to build on this in the future.

In particular, St Feock has a very good relationship with our local Methodist chapel and during the course of a year we share several services and parish events. This is something we are very keen to continue to nurture.

The Community in Feock

There are a number of ‘community hubs’ within the parish.

The Church Hall was recently renovated by Church volunteers. Using their talents saved thousands of pounds. It is widely used by sports groups, ballroom and line dancers as well as Gardening and Flower clubs. In addition, our churchwarden, his wife and team serve two course meals, cooked on the premises, twice a month for between 50 – 100 people. These have become an important part of the parish outreach.

  • There is a Film Club once a month.
  • St Feock Chapel also has a series of events, including very popular soup lunches, to which the wider parish is always invited.
  • Linden Hey Tea Rooms is privately owned, but has become a favourite meeting place for individuals within the parish as well as being a hub for​ book club​s and numerous other small meeting groups.
  • Loe Beach is about half a mile from the church and is another vibrant area in the summer months, used predominantly by local people.
  • During the Covid Crisis our local foodbank became aware of a need for toiletries for their clients, so for our September Harvest service instead of the usual apples, cabbages and potatoes we collected ‘loo rolls’ - 724 of them!