Sunday March 6th at 2 pm.
The St Piran’s procession to the oldest Christian building in mainland UK, St Piran’s Oratory, returns this year. Meet at the Perran Sands holiday park. Parking from 1pm at the reception or overflow car parks by kind permission of Perran Sands holiday park. There will be no onsite entertainment or bar this year.
When on site head to St Piran point for the procession to start at 2pm. Follow St Piran and the festival flags across Penhale Sands to St Piran’s Oratory, then onto the second church and the impressive St Piran’s Cross.
The procession will be led by St Piran, the Deputy Grand Bard of the Cornish Gorsedh and a Cornish Piper. Come and join in the celebrations of our national saint, meet friends old and new, bring a St Piran’s flag or a musical instrument.
St Piran’s Oratory was lost to the sands sometime around 1150, from here the procession will head to the second church, which itself was inundated and the Parish Church removed in 1804 two miles inland, where it remains today. In 2005 the St Piran Trust excavated the second church, and it has been conserved as we see it today.
St Piran’s Oratory had been rediscovered in the 1800’s with archaeological excavations in 1835 and 1843. In 1910 it was decided to build a concrete structure for its protection and in 1980 it was decided to bury this under the sand. A national outcry followed but it took until 2014 to uncover the Oratory. Led by the St Piran Trust conservation work has been undertaken to stabilise the building, including the grass capping along the walls.
The Oratory is a Scheduled Monument located within a Special Area of Conservation and Site of Special Scientific Interest. The St Piran Trust have been working with statutory bodies and others to drain the site, so that it does not flood each year as is currently the case. This work continues.