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More Lakeland

August 16, 2012

St. Mary’s, Rydal

St. Mary’s, Rydal

A church associated with William Wordsworth, who was chapel warden and worshipped here for many years. He lived nearby. This church is open every day and is worth a visit. The welcome notice outside is very good welcoming visitors in several languages. There is a free guide inside and some cards to buy as well as a lecture by Wordsworth. The visitors book is a loose leaved one and it has become a bit disorganised so it is not easy to count the numbers who have signed it. There certainly were 9 in the last 5 days. Also there is a display on the Blessed Virgin Mary, a prayer board to use and a Bible open. A small used book stall completes the picture. I would rate St. Mary’s as Okay.

Interior of St. Mary’s, Rydal

Cartmel Priory

Cartmel Priory

This is a real gem. Once again I was lucky enough to arrive just as the bell was being tolled for the mid week eucharist. I was able to join in and was made to feel very welcome. A good start to my visit. The signs outside are very good, giving a very clear welcome. This church receives many visitors, and with good reason. There are stewards on duty who count people in. The lady told me that they had had 865 visitors this week so far. There is a bookstall which is well stocked with CD’s, cards, prayer cards, crosses, bibles, a children’s guide, guide books, various souvenirs  and a good selection of Christian books.  An excellent, full colour guide book is on sale along with a CDRom giving an interactive tour.


There is much to see here, from some historical curios, a display on Anglican Religious Communities (we prayed for some during the service), a Mother’s Union display, as well as some on history. There is a large votive stand to use along with a prayer board. There are a couple of sculptures by Josefina de Vascobcellos, and very good they are.

‘The Young Martyr’ by Josefini de Vasconcellos

This church has put a lot of effort into catering for visitors and yet it doesn’t detract from the fact that this is a living place of worship. Their strap line on their material is ‘Ancient Jewel, Living Church.’ That is born out by what I saw there. There is even an electronic donation point, the only one I have seen in a parish church. I rate this church as excellent. Website –

‘They fled by night’ Sculpture in Cartmel

St. Paul’s, Grange over Sands

St. Paul’s, Grange over Sands

A church in the centre of this small and pleasant town. It is open each day, although the signs just say that visitors are welcome to worship there on a Sunday. It is a fairly typical town centre Victorian  church but there has been quite a lot of effort gone into welcoming the visitor. There are various leaflets, a simple guide which explains the history of St. Paul’s.This also gives details of the church services and other activities that happen here. Another gives an opportunity to contact the Team Rector and to receive further information about the church, probably a bit outside my remit but good to see none the less.

Prayer area at Grange over Sands

One thing here that did catch my eye was the prayer area. This has been very well laid out with a table of leaflets and bookmarks – with an invite to take any away that are helpful. They use The Prayer Trust material which is well produced and very good. One bookmark gives a simple Celtic Blessing. The booklets are – ‘Songs of Hope and Joy, Prayers from the Psalms’, Kneeling before the Father, prayer’s from St. Paul’s letters’ and Light of the World.’ There is a small library as well. I rate this as very good.

Holy Trinity, Kendal

Holy Trinity, Kendal

Another large town centre church. This too is open and the signs make this very clear. They have stewards here and the lady on duty today was very friendly and pointed out things of interest in the church to me. She obviously loves this place. I was handed a free guide which welcomes the visitor, as well as highlighting things of interest. These are available in different languages. There is much to see here, including another Josefina de Vascobcellos sculpture.

‘The Family of Man’ sculpture at Kendal

There are two chapels for quiet prayer – the Parr Chapel and the Saint Thomas-a-Becket chapel. The latter is obviously well used by the clergy and others here for prayer. I think that it is good to see prayer books and bibles and Lectionaries open as it shows that the church is being used for it’s intended purpose. Also, a building that is prayed in has a wholly different atmosphere somehow. I am not sure how I can explain that!

Prayers at Holy Trinity, Kendal

Children have an area to use with the usual colouring, books and toys. There is also a simple children’s guide. All in all, I rate this church as very good. An enjoyable visit.

St. Martin ‘s, Windermere

St. Martin’s, Windermere

A very well visited church slap bang in the middle of this bustling town. It couldn’t be in a better situation. A brief shower sent many visitors scuttling inside! One thing that impressed here was the stewards who welcomed each visitor individually. They must  have had some training (another important point). There are several signs welcoming visitors and helping to draw them in. Children have a good area to use. There had been 131 visitors sign the book in the last month but there must have been nearly that number there whilst I was visiting. A very well visited church. There are welcome sheets in different languages and a small, but well stocked bookstall. This sells books, cards and gifts etc. Several people were buying things whilst I was there. There are displays of people and church events, couples getting ,married there this year and of a Jubilee event. There is a nice statue of St. Martin with a brief biography. Used books were for sale as well.

Inside St. Martin’s, Windermere

There is a votive stand and a prayer book. Both were being used on my visit. There was an open Bible on the lectern. An interesting church to visit, especially the murals on the walls. I rate this as very good.

Fresco at Windermere

Jesus Church, Troutbeck

Jesus Church, Troutbeck

A country church in a glorious setting. A couple came out of the gate as I was going in. They had been walking and had gone into the church and were very impressed with it. This is why churches should be open! The door is left open. The sign outside just mentions Sunday’s. A guide is available, as well as post cards and some MU crosses. One rather nice idea is a free card which says ‘With the prayers & good wishes of the people of Jesus Church Troutbeck  and St. Mary, Windermere.’ The reverse has a verse from Romans. There had been 28 people sign the visitors book in the last month but it was full so there may have been more if there had been any space left. There was another display of couples being married here this year as well as folders on walks and village guides, the flora and fauna of the churchyard, as well as news and events in the church and village. Visitors are also offered the Diocesan newspaper (The Way) and a church magazine. A prayer board is available to use. The kneelers here feature local plants and  animals. This church is beautifully kept and I rate it as good.

Troutbeck interior


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