St Olaf's Church, Wasdale Head, Cumbria

Welcome to Wasdale Head and England’s smallest parish church. Wasdale Head is the birthplace of English rock climbing and many of England’s finest fells are in the parish – among them Great Gable, Pillar, Steeple, and the highest - Scafell Pike, so is its deepest lake, Wastwater, and they create a montage that many regard as one of Britain’s finest views.

Amongst these wonders of God’s creation sits the little church of St Olaf’s – the parish church of Wasdale Head. The site has been the base of the Christian Community here for over 1000 years - though the present building only dates from circa 1525-1550. St Olaf's can quite accurately be described as a little stable, with pews, ancient beams and a flagstone floor - a perfect place to worship God. Do come and visit us!

St Olaf's is open each day from around 9am till shortly before dusk. 

SERVICES - We have services in St Olaf's at 11am on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month throughout the year, and on Easter Sunday and Christmas Day.

May Services at St Olaf's
Sunday 14th May at 11am – Morning Praise for Christian Aid Week
Sunday 28th May at 11am - Service of Thanksgiving for the Harvest of the Lambs

On the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month, the service is at Nether Wasdale Church at 9.30am. 

Nether Wasdale is just 4 miles to the west of Wasdale Head and its beautiful church is in the centre of the village.

Each year we welcome visitors from all over the world. With only a track and a footpath leading to the church, most are walkers or climbers on their way to and from some of England's finest fells. Many call in for quiet moments of prayer or meditation and enjoy the silence amidst the grandeur and permanence of God's creation. St Olaf's simplicity and diminutive size is what people love.

For full information about St Olaf's please visit our website   

The parish of Gosforth & Wasdale is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults. Any matters of concern should be reported to our Parish Safeguarding Officers, Steven & Susan Round, or if appropriate to the local authority or the police. Our Parish Safeguarding Officers' contact details are e: [email protected]   t: 01946 841 626.

Get in touch

Rev Philip Dorling

The Rectory,
Wasdale Road,

CA20 1AZ

Our website

St Olaf's Church, Wasdale Head, Cumbria Charity No. 1199377