St Sampson's

St Sampson’s South Hill

During the Covid 19 Pandemic we are still holding services every Sunday at the times below (except in times of local or national lockdown, when we meet on Zoom). All Covid precautions are taken.  We may not be allowed to sing but we still enjoy worship, prayer and fellowship. For details on how to join the Zoom Service please contact Miranda Lawrance-Owen  - Email here

We meet in our beautiful small medieval church, St Sampson's, in the rural community of South Hill.  Generations of local people have built, cared for and worshipped in this building for almost seven hundred years.  It is simple and largely unadorned but has a deep sense of stillness and peace. You don’t have to look hard to find its hidden treasures, its peace, and its enduring witness over the centuries to the presence and power of God. 

We are a small, friendly congregation and have many connections with the local community. Our Mission Statement is 'Reach out, Welcome in, Tell the story'.  Services and prayer groups are held weekly.

We are 'middle of the road' in our worship style and although most services follow a formal Church of England pattern, we have an inclusive and informal approach.

Our normal pattern of monthly services is

First Sunday - Holy Communion at 11.15 am

Second Sunday - Morning Worship at 11.15 am

Third Sunday - Morning Worship at 11.15 am

Fourth Sunday - All Age Worship, a slightly less formal service at 10.00 am, followed by refreshments.

When there is a fifth Sunday in the month we usually join our cluster family for a service in one of the five churches but number restrictions during the pandemic prevent this.  Instead we have our own service of Morning Worship at St Sampson’s.  

We would love to see you at any of our services.  Come and see if our style of worship suits you.

Don't worry if you haven’t been to a service before or not for a long time - the service leader usually tells people when to stand up or sit down and our services are easy to follow in the book or printed leaflet.  If you want to sit quietly throughout the service that is fine.

Children are welcome and we have a box of toys and books (Sorry, not available during the Covid 19 pandemic). We love to have children in our church and we know they don't usually sit still or quietly for very long so please do not worry.  We don't have a Sunday school or separate services for children.  If you are not sure how your children will cope, you may prefer to try our monthly All Age Services first.  These are followed by coffee, tea, juice and biscuits. (Sorry, refreshments not available during the Covid 19 pandemic).

Prayer Gathering – an informal meeting to pray for our parish and community happens every Tuesday at 9.30 am. 

Church family members are encouraged to use their gifts to the glory of God and for his people.  We are small in number but we do a lot – you will find us in leadership, reading, leading intercessions, flower arranging, singing in the small church choir, serving on the PCC, in administration and finance, serving refreshments and volunteering in the community.  And we have fun!


Two or three times a year we have a dedicated giving focus. In 2019 our focus was St Petroc’s Society for the homeless and CRUSE, the bereavement support charity. We were unable to do this as normal in 2020 but Send a Cow, Callington Foodbank and Operation Christmas Child were supported by church members. 

Our St Sampson's Unlocked project aims to explore and develop the place of St Sampson's in our community.  We are developing a new vision for St Sampson’s Church and its place in the community in the 21st century.  As part of that vision, we hope to improve the facilities at the church for wider community use, better understand its Christian heritage and encourage visitors and worshippers to explore faith. We are actively encouraging our local community to get involved and lots of really good ideas came up at our Community Meeting and Open Day. The members of our community support and fundraising team CRUX (Cherished, Restored, Unlocked Church) had to curtail activities during the pandemic but they have lots of exciting plans for 2021. Despite the pandemic, in 2020 we managed to install lighting along the church path and a mains water supply to the church. The font has been moved to a more prominent position at the front of the church, leaving more space for hospitality at the back. Fundraising continued online and through funding applications and plans for a community meeting room in the Manaton chapel and WC facilities in the tower are well developed. 

Follow us and keep updated on St Sampson’s Unlocked Facebook page

Support our cause while shopping online - go to


To view our Statement of Significance click here.

Contact Judith or Miranda for more information or if you have ideas or contacts you want to share.



Golberdon Girls

Golberdon Girls, a community choir for ladies, meets in the church on Monday evenings for rehearsals.  It is open to all ladies of any age and any ability.  You do not need to be able to read music.  Many of us have not sung in a choir since primary school days and never thought we could sing but we have great fun and we keep being surprised by what we can do when we try.  

We usually perform two local concerts a year and take part in the Carols by Candlelight service in St Sampson's. We sometimes appear at other events.  

New members are always welcome

Contact Rachael for details

South Hill Connection

The South Hill Connection Website and Newsletter are great places to find out more about our parish community and what is going on.  There is regular news and updates about what is happening at St Sampson's included in each issue.  Click on the link to find out more


St Sampson’s stands at a crossroads on a low hill at the northern edge of the rural parish of South Hill. The existing church building dates from the fourteenth century, dedicated in 1333, but built on the site of an earlier Norman church.  It was enlarged in the fifteenth century but little major change has taken place since then.

The church site may have been one of the earliest centres of Christian worship in Cornwall and it is possible that it was the place of a monastery allegedly founded by St Sampson in the sixth century.  Within the churchyard is an inscribed stone including a chi-rho symbol, considered to date from the 6th to 8th century.  Archaeologists believe there is an early cemetery beneath the present churchyard and that all the evidence suggests the site contained an Early Christian settlement. 

St Sampson’s is also important for Cornishmen.  South Hill was the first living of the young Revd. Jonathan Trelawney, later Bishop of Bristol, whose imprisonment in the Tower of London in 1688 inspired the Cornish anthem ‘Trelawney’.  He was appointed as rector of South Hill in 1673.

A few often-overlooked details about the building – the Norman font with its fascinating carvings, carved heads on tomb recesses in the chancel and a delightfully carved frieze below the tower parapet, thought to represent Jesus’ apostles.

The churchyard, which is still open for burials, is a peaceful haven, of grass and wildflowers surrounded by Cornish hedges and walls.

Come and have a look.  

For more information contact Miranda Lawrance-Owen on 01579382863.


You would be welcome at any of our services. For a schedule of the services and how to get there click here

Statement of Significance