100 years ago: Cathedral for Cornwall

23 June 2010

The Church Times. June 24th, 1910.

THE dedication of the Western Towers of Truro Cathedral brings to a conclusion — thanks to the noble contribution of one donor — the long and self-denying labours of Cornish Churchmen in the volun­tary task of building a cathedral. When the work was first taken in hand by the first Bishop of Truro, Dr Benson, the project seemed to be on a scale far beyond the powers of the comparatively poor county of Cornwall. To a lack of wealth was added the fact that the Cornish people were not then, as once they had been, devoted sons of the Church, but had, from various causes, drifted away from it. But the Bishop and his supporters would have nothing to do with the word “impossible”. It was also urged against the scheme that a building, raised at a great cost, was a mere luxury, and not a necessity. “To what purpose is this waste?” some people said. The answer to this was to the effect that there is a strong appeal in a stately Mother Church, provided that everything is done there to make it evident that it is the centre and focus of the religious activity of a diocese. And so the ven­ture of faith was unhesitatingly made, and section by section the great church has been reared, be­ginning with the sanctuary and choir, and ending with the com­pletion of the design for the west front and its flanking towers. And while the fabric has been steadily growing year by year, the building of the spiritual edifice has gone forward with corresponding pro­gress. In their own Cathedral Church, the Churchfolk of Corn­wall have a possession of which they are justly proud, and for which they are, with reason, devoutly thankful.

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