Please check service times if there is a fifth Sunday in the month as all six churches in the Benefice share a joint service at one of the churches. We also have extra activities at times such as Christmas and Easter. All details can be found on our website 'Benefice of East Lonsdale'. NOTE: AUTUMN 2015 - SPRING 2016 Revd Canon Robert Hannaford has left the Benefice to take up a post as full time Minister at St John's Church, Workington. We will have a temporary service pattern until a new Minister is appointed.
Until the 19th Century the ancient village of Wray, settled and named by the Vikings one thousand years earlier, never had a church. The village was laid out as a model agricultural township in the 12th century but no church was built. The folk of Wray were obliged to walk three miles to the Parish Church of St Wilfrid at Melling.
The need for a church in the village became pressing as new trades and industries arrived at the beginning of the Victorian age, and as the population increased. Coal miners, hatters, wood workers, nail makers, cloggers and quarrymen joined workers in the old occupations of farm work and domestic service.
Edmund Sharpe of Lancaster designed the church building. Work started in 1839, and was completed the following year. The Bishop of Chester consecrated it on 1st July 1841. It was a plain, rectangular construction costing £700. The land was the gift of the Reverend Hoskins of Canterbury who had inherited farms in the district.
The best feature of the church is the oak rood screen dedicated to Charles Lavinson Reynolds. He served as Vicar for 43 years, retiring in 1920. It was made at the nationally famous Gillow furniture workshops of Lancaster, founded in the 18th Century. In 1936 friends and relatives erected it as his memorial.