Photos by: W. Bernard Bland


The doorway is Norman (around 1000 years old) you can see the marks left by the sharpening of arrows. And standing inside that door you are in the older of the two naves. The font is thought to be 15th. Century. It is a carved stone basin and placed close to the main door, as traditionally baptism signifies entry into God’s family. The open west end space is used for refreshments after services, and occasionally for meetings. Much extended in the 16th and 18th centuries and considerably restored in the 19th, the church as you see it now is largely Victorian. The old nave is a side chapel used for short services during the week.

Walk up the centre aisle to the pulpit, the place of preaching. The pulpit has 8 panels carved with different rose motifs similar to those on the choir stalls. The panels were made by members of a wood carving class, including the vicar and members of his congregation, held in the village in 1903-4. You can see their names on the inside of the pulpit. Move up the steps into the chancel, which is the area where the choir sit in the sideways benches. The large seat or stall on the right is where the priest sits. Then look into the sanctuary, bounded by the communion rail. The sanctuary houses the table at which we celebrate Holy Communion. This reminds us of the last supper that Jesus shared with his disciples and which we still share today.

The panelling reredos (behind the altar) at the east end were given in 1928 in memory of Lord Cross of Eccle Riggs, who paid for the Victorian restoration of the church. The stained glass windows are all Victorian or later, most were designed d made in the studios of Charles Kempe, a famous worker in stained glass in the late 19th century and were given in memory of prominent local people. Of particular interest is the window in the south wall showing ‘Spes’ (Hope) - designed by Edward Burne-Jones. This is one of several copies and was moved here in 1948 in memory of the Rev J Postlethwaite. Shrigley & Hunt who made the new border for the window also made the window showing the figure of ‘Fides’ (Faith).

Beside the organ in the side chapel is a wheeled 19th century bier. There is also a church chest carved from a solid trunk of oak; its iron clasps bear the date 1735. This appeared in the accounts for 1738 at £1.6s 9d. In this area in the century bell, inscribed “John is my name”, which was one of the original church bells. The church has a ring of 12 bells, which is rare for a country parish church. In the south wall left of the vicars door is the medieval piscina (placed there when the old south wall was taken down in 1758). Before you leave do sit down and recall that God wants you to be blessed, just as he has blessed so many hundreds here, all through the centuries, since the first small house of worship was built on this site. May you go on your way with his love in your heart. Visitors are welcome to join us at our 10.30 am service each Sunday.

Taken from the leaflet in the Church by Wal Greenhalgh.


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© Furness Family History Society. Established 1993. Affiliated to the FEDERATION OF FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETIES.