|"...fair as the sea...."|
St Morwenna and Reverend Hawker
|Holy well of St Morwenna|
Hawker has become part of the folklore of Morwenstow, and indeed he completely championed St Morwenna as patron of his parish. Sabine Baring Gould once called to question the reality of the story of Morwenna, and Hawker replied:
“What! Morwenna not lie in the holy place at Morwenstow! Of that you will never persuade me, -- no, never. I know that she lies there. I have seen her, and she has told me as much; and at her feet ere long I hope to lay my old bones.”
|St Morwenna's church, Morwenstow|
|Rev. Hawker's vicarage|
He also used to communicate with St Morwenna, and regularly saw her inside the church, around the graveyard and on the cliff-top at Morwenstow. Hawker also had a vision of an angel in the church, by the rood screen door, whilst conducting a baptism. After some delay, Hawker announced that the angel had communicated that he was now the guardian angel of the child he had just baptised.
|Hawker's hut on the cliffs at Morwenstow|
In his younger days, Hawker is said to have dressed as a mermaid and sat on the rocks at Bude, he continued this practice until a local man threatened to go out and shoot the mermaid dead.
With all these tales in mind, it is easy to walk the ancient pathways around Morwenstow church and still feel the mighty presence of the Reverend Robert Stephen Hawker, and I for one am glad, as he was an eccentric visionary and a man of the people he served, who was always willing to help the poor and needy of the parish and beyond.
|Reverend Robert Stephen Hawker|