St. Bega’s Church, Bassenthwaite, is situated in fields on the East shore of Bassenthwaite Lake. It is dedicated to the Celtic Saint, Bega.
The building dates from about AD 950, though the site may be older. It was extensively restored in 1874. For over a thousand years the Christian message has been spread from this place.
The Church is used for services on the first Sunday each month. It also has a large number of weddings and baptisms. It is widely visited by people from all over the world. Most come on foot, often from a considerable distance. A children’s corner provides for younger visitors.
In the Church are Bibles in 28 languages (at last count, we get extra ones from time to time) to make overseas visitors feel at home. A well supported charity box helps support charities in developing countries.
The Church was visited by Wordsworth, Tennyson and Carlyle. More recently it provided the setting for Melvyn Bragg’s novel Credo.
In October 2008, with the blessing of the Bishop of Carlisle, the Orthodox Bishop Basil of Amphipolis used St Bega’s Church to ordain Father John Muster of Keswick. This was appropriate as St Bega’s is one of the few Cumbrian churches to survive from before the time of the Great Schism (1064) when the western and eastern churches split.
St Bega’s Church is the end-point of a walk, ‘St Bega’s Way’, a long-distance walk, developed and published by a parishioner.
There is a Junior Visitor’s Guide and Quiz available for download on the Bassenthwaite Village website.
The church is open at all times.
Note: Access to the Church is by unmetalled footpath only. There is no parking at the church, except for those attending services.