William Haslam's First Church (1842-1847)

Haslam was feeling better by the spring of 1842 but the doctor still held little hope of recovery but suggested that he went to the North of Cornwall as the environment was more conducive for his recovery. He saw an advertisement for a curate in charge of a parish in that very area, in Perranzabuloe and on applying he found himself, within ten days, ordained and placed in his new parish. Something happened at his ordination that upset him considerably. The bishop of Exeter told the ordinates that they were responsible for the souls of those in their parishes. Haslam had not figured on this and had no idea what he was to do with the souls.


He arrived at his large (3,000 people) rundown parish, not knowing quite what to do. After a short time, he formed a musical group and choir who could perform some psalms (there were no hymn books) and they became very popular in the church and more people began to attend the services. Haslam then went about restoring the church and found that he had quite a talent for it and he soon became very popular in the surrounding area and was called upon to advise on many a church or building restoration and even on architectural plans to extend buildings or build schools. His congregation really liked the restored building and brought many neighbours and friends to church so the congregation grew.


Haslam seldom preached his own sermons, he adapted Newman’s and as far as he was concerned they were doctrinally perfect, but his congregation did not like them. He was warned by one of his ‘band’ that his sermons were going to drive people away from the church and the following Sunday a group got up and left the church in the middle of the sermon. One day he was speaking to a Dissenter about the burying of his child when he said ‘I would bury you all tomorrow if I could; for you are no good.’ He felt he was being persecuted for Christ’s sake; little did he know that ‘many of the people with whom I thus contended and whom I grieved so much, were real spiritual members of Christ, and had only ceased to be members of the Church of England because I did not preach the Gospel.’



As a result of the feuds and disagreements, there was hardly anyone left in his congregation when he left the parish in 1846.

Additional Information

The Church is on the corner of Bone Mill Road and the A3075