Reopening of St Mary’s Aisle

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Truro Cathedral recently unveiled the beautifully revitalised St Mary’s Aisle, with a rededication service and a celebratory event.

The extensive renovation project commenced in May 2023 and spanned a year, during which the aisle, which also serves as a parish church, had to be closed to the public.

The Rt Revd Graham James (honorary Assistant Bishop of Truro and former Bishop of Norwich) and the Very Revd. Simon Robinson (Dean of Truro and Rector of St Mary’s Parish, Truro) led the rededication service, bringing the aisle back into use for prayer and worship.

A week later, there was a celebratory event in which a ribbon was cut by cathedral volunteer Roselle Baker, with music from Jeremiah Mead and Luisa Torres and family activities provided by the cathedral branch of the Mothers’ Union. Attendees included the Mayor and Mayoress of Truro (Cllr. Carol Swain and Ms Sarah Douglas-Martin).

St Mary’s Aisle is a cherished reminder of old Truro. One aisle of the 16th-century parish church of St Mary was incorporated into the much more recent Truro Cathedral and is a testament to Victorian engineering prowess and the architectural ingenuity of John Loughborough Pearson.

Recently, however, time had taken its toll on St Mary’s Aisle. The weather-beaten roof and deteriorating stonework demanded urgent attention. Thanks to the meticulous efforts of all the specialists involved in the project, who re-slated the roof, repaired the parquet floor and restored the stained-glass windows, St Mary’s Aisle now stands rejuvenated for worship, family events and other activities.

The project was made possible by a funding package that included donations from local people, gifts in Wills and grants awarded by charitable trusts and foundations. The project also received £112,410 from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth Programme, which is managed by Cornwall Council and funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Dean Simon said: “Both events were really great fun and again affirmed the significance and importance of St Mary’s Aisle in the lives of so many Cornish families. It was very special to have a service of rededication and to learn of Bishop Graham James’ deep connection with Cornwall and St Mary’s Aisle, and it was very good to welcome funders and so many families to our second event.

“I look forward to the continued use of St Mary’s Aisle as a place of prayer, worship, activities and events for the very many people who love and visit Truro Cathedral.”