About Crosscrake Church

About Crosscrake Church

“The aim of our church community is to be a true family of God; living, worshipping, and working in what we know is a difficult and demanding world.We will be open and outward looking, growing in faith, using the talents of our members, radiating our witness to Christ, meeting Him in our neighbours, giving and receiving the love of God.”As people at St.Thomas’, by God’s Grace we strive to live by his values, worship and pray together, reveal the Good News and see God’s Kingdom grow.”

Parish Mission Statement

Sunday services at Crosscrake Church

Associate Priest at St. Thomas’ Crosscrake: Rev. Terry Wilcock, assisted by Rev. Lucy Foster, Curate.

St. Thomas’ Church is a thriving, growing church with a regular weekly congregation of 40-50 people. Children are an important part of our church family and we have close links with the local C.E. Aided school.

The D.J.s (children’s Sunday worship group) has a steady attendance regularly in excess of 10 children rising to more than 20 on special occasions, for example 21 children attended on Easter Sunday.

Three times a year we hold activity mornings (Christmas, Easter and summer) with attendances of more than 50 children as well as parents and helpers.

An exciting new project to build an additional meeting space adjacent to the church for a variety of uses by the congregation and local community is ongoing. Read more about the project here.

Our Vision:

We strive to see a thriving, growing Christian community which is a spiritual home for those of differing backgrounds and churchmanship. 

In a village with only one church we want to be as inclusive and welcoming as possible to Christians of all denominations. 

We look to strengthen our existing patterns of Church life and witness as well as developing new expressions of witness and involvement in the wider community. 

We look to extend our outreach through pastoral ministry, making the Church relevant, appealing and accessible. 

We will examine the ways in which we can work effectively as a Mission Community towards achieving the vision of God for all.

The Ecclesiastical Parish of Crosscrake

Diagram of the parish

The Parish is situated in the attractive, undulating drumlin country on the eastern side of the valley of the River Kent about four miles south of Kendal in South Lakeland. It comprises the civil parishes of Sedgwick (188 households), Stainton (133 households) and part of Preston Richard. The population is approximately 1000 with a Church electoral roll of 85 (2018).The only shop and post office in the parish, at Sedgwick, closed about fifteen years ago. There is a small industrial estate at Summerlands. There are still some family-run farms in the Parish but most people in the Parish either work in Kendal or travel to Lancaster and even further a-field. (Average distance of travel to work is 15 miles) One local farm has diversified and has developed a Maize Maze, a seasonal caravan park and egg farm.

The mean age of the population is around 41. Of the adult population in Sedgwick of 350: some 110 are economically inactive, in Stainton out of the adult population of 315: some 80 are economically inactive. (ONS census 2011).

The Church, which is dedicated to St Thomas, is in the centre of the parish with its Vicarage and a few houses close by. It occupies a site at a crossroads on an ancient ridge road south from Kendal where there was once a cross erected by a Norseman, Kraki.

The churchyard dates from 1823. The present church building dates from 1870 and replaced a Chapel of Ease founded in 1190. This Chapel had fallen into disrepair and the new church was re-sited 50 yards downhill to the east of the old Chapel. The building was designed by the architects Paley and Austin in a pleasing simple gothic style, which fits well into the rural environment. It is constructed from slate walling with sandstone dressings under a steeply pitched Westmorland green slate roof. Owing to structural problems it has been much altered.

The church can hold around 140 and has an average Sunday attendance of 50. Attendances on special occasions can reach 100 or more.

2010 Regeneration

Crosscrake Church Interior

A Regeneration Appeal was launched in July 2010 and raised £90,000 for the work undertaken in 2011. 

The work was completed and comprises a re-ordered chancel, new electrics, decorating and carpeting, disabled toilet, kitchen facilities and a new oil-fired boiler. Some pews were removed to provide useful circulation space at the front of the church; for more comfortable seating and the freedom to use the space for various activities, for example baptisms. 

The building has been well loved and cared for over the years. One of the aims of the alterations was to provide a more inclusive and welcoming building.

Project to create Crosscrake Church & Community Hub

Crosscrake Church Hub Illustration

Our aim is that Crosscrake Church & Community Hub should be an inclusive and engaging community space that reaches out to all groups in our rural parish. A place at the very heart of our community where both young and old can enjoy a range of activities, develop new skills and interests and come together in fellowship and friendship.

The Churchyard

The churchyard at Crosscrake

The churchyard, which surrounds the building on all sides, is mostly ‘natural’ and has a glorious display of snowdrops and daffodils in the spring. There is adequate space for burials currently and an option to buy adjacent space if and when the need arises. Spaces are normally available to members of the Church and local people. Consideration is given to those who have family or historical reasons for wanting a gravespace.

There is an area for cremated remains and a memorial stone naming those whose ashes are interred has been installed.

A car park was constructed on the east side of the building in 2005.
As the Church currently has no hall it uses the Village Hall in Sedgwick for some social events.