Kendal Parish Church
Location : Kendal
Grid Ref : SD 517922
Kirkland, Kendal. Tel 01539 721248
The Parish Church, Holy Trinity, is mostly 18th Century, but has been a place of worship since the 13th Century. It is Cumbria’s largest parish church, and one of the largest in England, having five aisles, two each side of the nave, a fine western tower, and a peel of ten bells. At the end of the 18th Century, it was supposed to hold as large a congregation as almost any church in the Kingdom, about 1200 people.
The window above, ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased’, was removed from All Hallows Church, Fellside in Kendal, when the church was developed into flats, and installed in the Parish church in 2008.
The building is 140 feet long and 103 feet wide, and the vista through the thirty-two pillars as you enter the Church adds greatly to its charm. Although there has been a church here since Saxon times, none of the structure you see today is older than the 13th Century, much of it 15th Century or later. The interior was considerably altered in 1969.
In the 1546 Survey of Chantries, it is shown that there were six chantries in the building. There are many monuments in the Church which are of considerable interest, including the alter tomb of Sir Walter Strickland in the Strickland chapel, and the tomb of Sir Roger Bellingham and his wife in the Bellingham chapel. In the Parr chapel, is a tomb believed to be that of Sir William Parr, grandfather of Queen Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s sixth and last wife. At the west end of the inner north aisle is a memorial to George Sedgwick, secretary to Lady Anne Clifford, hereditary High Sheriff of Westmorland.
Very little ancient glass has survived, but there is much Victorian stained glass by a variety of artists and makers. There is a 15th Century black marble font, and a 17th Century communion table.
By the East Window is a sculpture by Josefina de Vasconcellos ‘The Family of Man’. The setting is a contemporary Refugee Camp in the Middle East. Huddled together, under an old blanket are Mary, Jesus and three children representing the African, European and Oriental peoples of the world.
Children can make brass rubbings, and can follow a special trail around the Church.
There is a wide selection of cards and books available at the bookstall.
For more information see www.kendalparishchurch.co.uk.