In transition

Dear readers,

we apologise for the long silence since December. As many of you know, we started The Portico as a brief COVID lockdown project in early 2020 to strengthen our parish community through the enforced social isolation. We ourselves succumbed to the virus during December, but since then have been pondering whether there is any need for The Portico since the lifting of all restrictions allowed all church-going and other social contacts to resume.

We are reflecting on the many questions and feedback received during our long silence, which suggest that there is perhaps still a need or at least a desire for this kind of community newsletter; we are therefore in transition while we work out in what form, and how, The Portico can fit into our post-lockdown lives.

Meanwhile, the website is currently fairly static but you can download copies of the print editions from this site. And you can join our mailing list to make sure you don’t miss the next edition!

Thanks for your continuing patience and support,

Jenny & Peter

Who’s in the pew?

Hello Fellow Parishioners of St Piran’s. 

My name is Tony Chapman. I moved to Truro in August last year although I had already spent a great deal of time in the West of Cornwall as my mother lives in St Keverne on the Lizard Peninsula. 

In my lifetime I have moved around the UK quite a bit as I was born near Syon Park in Middlesex, lived my early life in Palmers Green (North London) and Bloomsbury (Central London). Moved to live in Cheshire (Runcorn and Crewe) and then to Newport in South Wales before coming to Truro. 

I am a member of The Catenians (Duchy of Cornwall circle)

Cornwall Christmas Box 2022

The popular Cornwall Christmas Box scheme is happening again this year, inviting locals to make up or contribute to Christmas boxes each containing all the makings of a Christmas dinner for a family of four, complete with trimmings. 

Last year, parishioners either donated their own box or gave a contribution which volunteers used to buy the contents of several boxes and delivered to a collection point.

Shopping List and drop-off points are on the website  here.

If you wish to contribute to communal boxes, we can make up the boxes and deliver them. Please send your donations via the Church office by 30 November if possible.

A Visit to the Arctic

November is the month of Remembrance.  This year, in addition to all the previous wars, we now have Ukraine and Russia to grieve. And there is the loss of our Queen. Sometimes, grieving with appropriate support and rituals, is all we can do in the face of certain losses.

And for me coming out of a small ship expedition to the Arctic, I am now acutely aware of some planetary losses to be mourned.  I saw dramatic loss of polar sea ice such that predictions of the North Pole being ice free by 2060 sound absurdly optimistic. Staving it off til 2040 would be an achievement. 

Some glaciers in the Arctic (and in Europe) are already technically dead! Instead of rivers of ice, they are static vestiges of ice. The rivers and lakes and oceans they feed are left to evaporate.

From reports of indigenous people living in the Arctic, it is clear that noticeable and extended increases in temperature, together with aggressive industrial fishing, are impeding patterns of fishing and hunting on which people and animals have depended sustainably for centuries. 

We noted a total absence of walrus, previously abundant. This reflects a wider, more general dwindling of species, not just polar bears but Arctic char and krill in the ocean, hares and foxes on land, many bird species…The effects of human-related climate change are evident today in the Arctic. We even had to shelter from a typhoon for 2.5 days in a deserted rocky bay, and then immediately race another hurricane level storm to make the shelter of a fjiord. These super storms are increasing in ferocity and length. Afterwards, we saw someone’s home jammed under a bridge by the flooded river, and half a burnt hotel that was saved by driving a bulldozer through it, to create an impromptu fire break. Their flood and tidal defences were completely overwhelmed. Imagine that happening here in Padstow.

I am therefore adding to November 2022 a profound grief about our misuse of our planet and its residents, both human and non-human. In particular, I am grieving its disproportionate impact on people who have done least to contribute to our carbon dioxide load in the atmosphere. And as I ring the Padstow Remembrance Sunday bells from St Petrocs Belltower with the rest of the band, I will be tolling for all of those losses alongside our military ones. Grieving is all we can do in the face of certain losses. Grieving with others and sharing in hope through rituals like Remembrance Sunday is some balm for the soul.

Philippa Reid Dalglish and Rev’d Fiona Giorla

Becoming a Church of Closeness

Friday, November 18, 2022: 6 PM

Readers are invited to join in a Divine Renovation global online discussion with Sr. Nathalie Becquart on synodality and why we’re called to become a Church of closeness. Learn practical ways we can implement synodality in our parish. Sr. Nathalie is the Vatican’s Undersecretary of the Synod and one of the highest-placed women appointed by Pope Francis.

Register here to join.

Alternatively contact THE PORTICO if you want to join in as part of a house group, using a big screen!

Root & Branch Event


Wed. 2nd Oct, 19.00 London Time.


Hans Zollner, SJ, is a theologian, psychologist and psychotherapist. He is Ordinary Professor and Director of the Institute of Anthropology Interdisciplinary Studies on Human Dignity and Care (IADC) at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. 

He has been a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors since its inception in 2014.

He has visited over 50 countries on five or six continents, to promote how the Church “is really starting to move over the last couple of years on the issue of doing justice to victims, of listening to them, and doing whatever can be done in terms of safeguarding.”

Key issues for the evening are:

  • The nature and effect of spiritual abuse – and abuse of power
  • The damaging nature of the culture of secrecy and processes that silence victims / survivors
  • The ‘cult of appearance’ (Pope Francis) that leads to the false belief: “it’s all alright now”
  • Challenging bishops and heads of orders and mandating alternative behaviours
  • Taking personal responsibility for change – being part of the solution

He says:
Wed 2nd Nov,  19.00 London Time.

To register on our Home page


Root & Branch are honoured to present this evening
in conjunction with Survivor Voices and Scottish Laity Network

“THE LETTER: a message for the earth”

“a clarion cry to people everywhere: we have to act together, we have to do it now.” (Cardinal Czerny)

“The Letter” was released 3 weeks ago as a Youtube Original film to wide critical acclaim. It highlights the key concept of dialogue by arranging a meeting between Pope Francis and a variety of voices from the peripheries, including an indigenous leader, a climate refugee, a youth activist, and a group of scientists. 

Austen Ivereigh writes (in The Tablet) that ”Meeting (Pope) Francis would conventionally be the climax of the film but in ‘The Letter’, it isn’t. The true drama happens later when the participants go to Assisi to reflect on the experience.”

While they are there, Arouna from Africa hears that his town is under water again and that a friend has died trying to make the dangerous crossing to Europe. This triggers an upsurge of pain and sense of vulnerability in which all the participants share and which becomes “ the place of grace and new hope.” 

The Letter is a Laudato Si production, available to watch HERE on Youtube; or if anyone is interested in watching it on a big screen in a discussion group, contact The Portico.