About Us

The parish, which consists of the hamlet of Watchgate and a wide area of farmland, sits astride the A6 approximately five miles north of Kendal.  There is a highly praised primary school, and a community hall.

St Thomas's church is situated more or less in the centre of the parish.  The present church, which was built in 1837 and extended in 1890, is in a good state of repair.  The former vestry has recently been refurbished, and is used for children's activities and PCC meetings.

There are 51 names on the electoral role.  Services are held every Sunday, and services of the word, Common Worship, and the Book of Common Prayer alternate.

The PCC finds it a struggle to meet the Parish Offer.  However, there is enthusiastic local support towards maintaining the fabric of the church, with an emphasis on "self-help."

Average attendance at services is in the order of 14 (note - this is approximately ten per cent of the population of the parish).  Links with the school are actively encouraged, and services are held in the church by the school.  At festivals, the church is commonly full.  Lay people in the parish lead services on occasion and otherwise take part regularly.

There is an excellent organist and the singing is of a good quality as several of the congregation belong to local choirs.

There are virtually no second homes or holiday houses, although many farmhouses and barns have been converted to private residential use.  Farming is the predominant activity, and a number of farming families have been several generations in the parish.  The show of the Selside, Grayrigg and Mountain Districts of Westmorland Agricultural Society is held annually.

There is a strong sense of community, with regular fund raising events and other entertainments taking place.