The church, built in 1753, with several Victorian additions to its’ fabric, stands in one of the largest churchyards in the area. The gravestones reflect the social history of this farming and lead mining community and they attract many visitors from around the world as emigration took place at the end of the local lead mining boom and descendants search for their roots.
The churchyard has been run as part of the Cumbria Wildlife Trust ‘Wildlife in Sacred Places’ project which has attempted to increase diversification in flora and fauna. The bird population includes woodpeckers and lesser spotted flycatchers, and red squirrels can sometimes be seen.
Inside, the church is simple, and although in need of roof repairs we have held concerts here because of the excellent acoustics. Plans for filming are in place with a small film production company for a feature film.
Spiritually St John’s is at the heart of village life. Although there are only monthly Holy Communion services there are weekly morning prayer services. As well as the christenings, weddings and funerals held here on behalf of the Church of England, the Methodists also use the church. St John’s houses the village war memorials for both world wars. Some of the oldest gravestones are kept inside the church.
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