St. Symphorian

The Revd Heather Jane Aston
The Rectory, Forrabury, Boscastle, PL35 0DJ    Tel: 01840 250359


Peter Williams
Tel: 01840 211094


Trevor Lloyd
Tel: 01840 250348


Carol Williams
Tel: 01840 211094

PCC Secretary
Sue Viner

A brief history of Forrabury Church:

Forrabury church sits on top of a hill overlooking the sea, and it is not really seen from the village of Boscastle which it serves.

St Symphorian is a little known saint in England but there are many churches dedicated to him in France, and it is thought that the Bottreaux family might have named the church to remind them of their roots.

Sadly not very little of the ancient church remains as the majority of the building was rebuilt in 1867 in a response to a need for extra seating (a nice problem to solve)

The porch dates from 1520 although it was rebuilt in the 1800’s after storm damage. Inside the church there is a lovely Norman font in the shape of a chalice or cup.

The tower was rebuilt in 1750 on its original base and is featured in the poem by Revd R S Hawker:

‘The Silent Tower of Bottreaux.’
The pilot heard his native bells
hang on the breeze in fitful swells.
‘Thank God’ with reverent brow he cried,
‘We make the shore on evening’s tide.’
‘Come to thy God in time.’
It was his marriage chime.
Youth, manhood, old age past,
his bells must ring at last.

‘Thank God, thou whining knave, on land
but thank at sea the steersman’s hand’,
the captain’s voice above the gale,
‘Thank the good ship and ready sail.’
‘Come to thy God in time.’
Sad grew the boding chime.
‘Come to thy God at last.’
Boomed on the heavy blast.

Up rose the sea as if it heard
the Mighty Master’s signal word.
What thrills the captain’s whitening lip?
The death groans of his sinking ship.
‘Come to thy God in time.’
Swung deep the funeral chime.
Grace, mercy, kindness past,
‘Come to thy God at last.’

Long did the rescued pilot tell,
when greying hairs o’er his forehead fell,
while those around would hear and weep,
that fearful judgement of the deep.
‘Come to thy God in time.’
Swung the deep funeral chime,
he read his native chime,
youth, manhood, old age past,
his bell rung out at last.

Still when the storm of Bottreau’s waves
is wakening in his weedy caves,
those bells that sudden surges hide
peal their deep notes beneath the tide.
‘Come to thy God in time.’
Thus saith the ocean’s chime.
‘Storm, billow, whirlwind past,
come to thy God at last.

The Altar, Credence Table and pulpit are made up of reused pew ends, and these are thought to be from Minster. The Lady Chapel Altar is a Jacobean table. The screen was installed in 1911. The arch on the south side is of Norman date.