St Feock and Holy Well
Feock is a village in South Cornwall named after St Feock a Celtic saint. Little is actually known about this saint and there’s even an uncertainty about whether they were male or female but what does seem certain is they founded a Christian prayer cell and hermitage in the area of Feock. The existing church is in the village on low ground but a short walk away on much higher ground St Feock’s holy well still exists.
We went to the church which though lovely wasn’t somewhere we stayed to pray but a kind lady told us how to find the well, which we’d been looking for unsuccessfully.
To find it look for a lane between two thatched cottages opposite the war memorial outside the parish church. Drive up the lane until just before the playground. There is a footpath down a private drive to La Feock. Walk down here, round the bend and you’ll see an old water pump. There are steps leading from here to the well, hidden in a dip.
The well house is not ancient, although the well is, and sadly has an iron grill over the entrance. However, the well is full of clear, deep water which flows freely away down a runnel. It’s an unassuming place and one which might not feel at all spiritual, unless you linger and pray.
I leant against the well house roof to pray and a wonderful stillness enveloped me. It was as though time stood still. Visions of an ancient monk sitting with his feet joyfully in the crystal clear water came to mind. The spring was not enclosed but bubbled up in a small pond. But it was the sense of timeless stillness which was noticeable, an essence of God’s presence, a freeing of worries and stresses. After a while I became aware as I focussed on Jesus that a human size golden angel was near us and as I recited the scripture, ‘ He hides me under the shadow of his wings’ I ‘saw’ the angel walk behind my husband and myself and wrap his wings around us. My mother in law had died a few days previously and the peace of God descended taking strain off us. It was a precious encounter.
So whilst very little is known about St Feock I would say the holy well is a place of encounter and a thin place to pray still and most probably where the original oratory and community dwelt rather than down in the modern village. However, some dispute that this is a holy well, yet from praying here I would beg to differ.