St. Bega’s Church
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.
This is the Parish Church of Bassenthwaite. St John’s Church , nearer the village, was built in 1878.
The Church is used for services at least twice each month. It also has a large number of weddings and baptisms. Always open, 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 borrowed St Bega’s to ordain Father John Muster of Keswick. This was appropriate as St Bega’s is one of 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 the recently published ‘St Bega’s Way’, a short long-distance walk, developed 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.
St John’s Church
In the 15th century the parishioners, probably tired of the long walk to St Bega’s, petitioned for permission to build a Chapel-of-Ease at the crossroads nearby. Still a walk from the village proper, nevertheless this served well for some centuries. It still stands and is now used as the Church Rooms.
St John’s, Grid Ref: 89/229316, was built in 1878 to replace the Chapel-of-Ease. It was founded, funded, and furnished by prominent local families from Armathwaite Hall and Bassenfell Manor.
St John’s is a large airy church, surrounded by a good-sized burial ground.
Relations with the Methodist Chapel in Bassenthwaite are excellent and during late winter months we share service venues for combined services.
The Church is open all day.
A Loop System is installed.
We always welcome donations and have teamed up with Vodafone so that we may receive donations via text message. Simply text BASS05 followed by a space and then the amount you wish donate (eg £2, £5 or £10) to 70070.
Mr A Bowe
Mr V Siddall