Skelsmergh parish is situated on the northern outskirts of Kendal and what was once an agricultural area with small family farms is now much used as a ‘commuter belt’ for the town.
Along with the scattered farms and homes the main concentrations of population are the hamlets/small villages of Garth Row, Oakbank, Mealbank, Dodding Holme and Kiln Croft. Mealbank also has a small busy industrial estate. The population of the parish is approximately 300.
Skelsmergh church was built in 1871 by the parishioners and stands in a very prominent position a mile out of Kendal, in close proximity to the A6, which runs through the parish. Within the parish there was a catholic chapel and presbytery at Dodding Holme. This now houses an Italian Cenacolo community – a drug re-habilitation unit for young men.
Our regular worship is led by the ministers in the Beacon Team, with each attending on a regular and planned basis. Members of the congregation take on the duties of reading, preparing the intercessions and chalice administration. Two members of the congregation take part on a regular basis in the provision of hospital communion, organised by the Beacon Team, at the Westmorland General Hospital.
The services have a regular and committed congregation, who are mainly elderly. Festivals attract more people; the Easter and Christmas Eve ‘Carols and Candlelight’ services are particularly well-attended. Many of the congregation come from outside the parish but have strong links with Skelsmergh.