St. Ives Parish Church Cornwall: History


This page is not intended as an authoritative guide of any sort but it is hoped that the explanations may help if your are not sure of some of the terms used in the descriptive pages on this site.

Alabaster stone is a translucent form of Gypsum 9 (a mineral)

Apostles are messengers, principally the twelve men Christ sent out to preach the Gospel, the Good News of the Christian faith.

Baptistery See Font, below.

Blessed Sacramen is consecrated bread held over from the church service, always available if needed urgently. Communion bread and wine are consecrated by the priest to represent the body and blood of Christ, who instructed his followers at the Last Supper, "Do this in remembrance of me".

Capital is the head of a pillar or pier

(15th) Century 1400-1499 AD) a period of one hundred years, eg 2000 begins the 21st Century.

Chancel: In Mediaeval times, the body of the church, (the Nave) was usually the only meeting place for all sorts of activities. It was therefore usual to erect a substantial screen dividing the Nave from the more holy parts of the church, the

Crucifix is a model of Christ on the Cross.

Delabole is a famous slate quarry in North Cornwall

Eucharist in Greek means "Thanksgiving". Eucharist is the service of Holy Communion.

Font: We are admitted to the Church by Baptism (with water). The Font contains the water used in the baptism service.

Gargoyle is a projecting spout to throw rainwater from the gutter clear of the wall.

Grotesque is a comically distorted figure carved in stone.

High Altar is the focal point of the church, the table around which the congregation assembles as commanded by the Lord Jesus, "Do this in remembrance of Me" for the service of Holy Communion, otherwise known as the Eucharist or Mass.

Jesus is the historical figure who Christians believe is the Son of God (the Creator of Heaven and Earth). Born in Bethlehem about 2000 years ago, Jesus died and rose from the dead to prove that man may have eternal life.

Madonna is a picture or statue of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus.

Nave is the body of the church (the name comes from the Latin word for ship)

Piers or pillars are the supports for arches.

Pinnacles are ornamental turrets (in this case, at the corners of the top of the tower)

Piscina is a small drain in a niche in the wall usually near the High Altar, once used for cleaning the chalice.

Pulpit is a raised enclosed platform from which the preacher delivers a sermon

Reredos is the backing to the altar

Rood Screen was a screen, originally stretching from wall to wall across the church between the Nave and the Chancel. There are beautiful rood screens still in place in some churches.

Sounding Board was a "roof" over the pulpit to direct the sound of the preacher's voice into the body of the church.

Stoup is a small container for holy water at the entrance to a church.

Sundial was the ancient method of telling the time by the sun. The sun's shadow falls on the dial to show the time during the day.

Tracery is the ornamental stonework of a window frame.

Trinity is the three "persons" of the one true God, maker of all : God the Father, God the Son (Jesus, Christ) and God the Holy Spirit.

Wagon Roof is the shape of the inside of the roof, resembling that of an old wagon!


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