Small but Loud

This is from the pamphlet describing the parish church of St Pancras in central shopping precinct of Exeter, England:

“Situated within the old ‘British quarter’ of the city that lay behind Exeter’s medieval Guildhall, the church of St Pancras stands possibly on one of the most ancient Christian sites in Britain. The dedication is an early one’ perhaps to the teenage boy martyr killed by the Roman emperor Diocletian in 304, or another saint of the same name, an earlier missionary bishop martyred in Sicily. It was apparently a popular dedication in the West Country; there are another 5 in Devon…”

“St Pancras has never had a parsonage, glebe or tithes, and over the years has had to be joined with various neighbouring parishes. It is curious that this tiny chapel should have survived when so many other of Exeter’s 28 medieval churches have disappeared. But parishioners have constantly argued that it was valuable as an occasional chapel and meeting-place; and this view was triumphantly vindicated during World War II when it proved a haven fro worshippers from neighbouring churches damaged or destroyed in the blitz.”

“The church has no tower, but there is a small bell-turret at the west end. The existing bell is medieval, made by Exeter bell-founder Robert Norton in the middle of the 15th century. It bears the inscription: Quamvis sum parva tamen aidior ampla per arva, ‘I may be small, nevertheless I am heard over a wide distance.’

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