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St. Bega's Church


The church 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.

St John’s Church , nearer the village, was built in 1878.

A Sunday service usually takes place once a month on the first Sunday of each month in the afternoon, but please check the website for details. The church is kept open to welcome visitors and to be available for private prayer.  It is widely visited by people from all over the world,  Most visitors to the church come on foot, as vehicular access is very restricted, either walking from Dodd Wood car park or from the Mirehouse, or alternatively from Scarness Lane. Some of our visitors have walked much further by the time they reach the church. 

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 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 normally 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 throughout the year we hold shared services and alternate venues each Sunday between St. John's and the Chapel.

The Church is normally open all day.

A Loop System is installed.


Mr A Bowe - 017687 76405

Mrs S Stockdale - 07773 365029

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