The church is some distance south of Ravenglass village. Use the southern (or coach) entrance to Muncaster Castle (SatNav CA18 1RJ) just off the A595
The village of Ravenglass, dating back tot he Roman occupation of Britain (AD43 to c.AD410) and the largest centre of population on the Eskdale Benefice, is unusual in that the church, dedicated to Saint Michael and All Angels, is some distance away surrounded by the gardens of Muncaster Castle. This reflects its close links with the Pennington family who have been at Muncaster since at least 1208. Before that, the monks of Furness Abbey had recognised that on this great Fell they could safely live and graze their sheep.
The current church dates from sometime in the 12th century although the site had been of religious significance to the local community probably from pre-Christian times. An Anglo-Norse preaching cross in the churchyard dates from around 950AD and an ancient burial mound is also present.
The church is Grade 1 listed, having been reworked in the 16th century. There have been later additions and alterations, including a restoration and the addition of a north transept in 1874 by Anthony Salvin. Further repairs and a renovation were carried out for the 2000 Millennium with the aid of a substantial English Heritage grant. In the north transept is an interesting Forster and Andrews organ. The church has particularly fine stained glass windows in the arts and Crafts style and the Madonna and Child in the vestry is possibly by William Morris himself.
Two thirds of the churchyard is now closed and maintained by Copeland Borough Council. In the open section of the churchyard, spaces remain available for burials and there is a Garden of Remembrance for the interment of ashes.
▪ 1st Sunday: 11.00am Eucharist
▪ 3rd Sunday: 11.00am Eucharist
Please check for variations in these arrangements under Covid
David Dickinson . 01946 693674
Muncaster Parish Hall
The Parish Hall at Ravenglass will be available for bookings from 17 May, subject to the Covid secure arrangements adopted last summer being required for the immediate future. Whenever the national guidelines for England change after 21 June, operating arrangements will be adjusted to enable the widest spread of activities to take place once again comfortably and safely.
The Antiques Fairs will resume at the current Spring and August Bank Holidays. The Parish Council will return from June to live meetings as advertised most months on the traditional second Tuesdays. A programme of films is projected for the autumn, once again with subtitles to aid accessibility and providing an opportunity to catch up with friends and neighbours in the interval. We will take advantage of the subsidised live music and theatre promoted by Arts Out West and local artists.
However what else can happen is up to you, either to suggest ideas or support them. Lots of things have happened in the hall in the past, bringing people together to keep fit or feast. The last year has introduced us all to digital ways of working and being entertained, stretching our horizons beyond imagination. It has also brought home the limits of a social restricted world.
Residents of Ravenglass should expect a questionnaire. We know our events have also been supported in the past by people from the wider district, indeed that is the only way the costs have been covered. There will be opportunity for others to download and return their responses.
The Management Committee welcome Edna Parr as a new trustee alongside a representative of Muncaster Parish Council. The Committee currently has space for further trustees, and any resident of Muncaster and the adjoining parishes wishing to fill a casual vacancy or taste the water should contact the Secretary Sarah Bell -sjbwingrove(@gmail.com- or attend the AGM. The 2020-21 Annual General Meeting will be held in the Hall at 7-30pm on Tuesday 5 July and everyone is invited to be there.
For more years than we care to remember, Tony Conroy has been a stalwart behind the scenes supporting his late wife Pam on the committee and more recently as the treasurer of the Charity and the fund raising 200 Club. Quite apart from handling the funds and balancing the books, he, Gill Howe and Ian Bell have excelled at getting the small monthly or modest annual subscriptions out of well-wishers - before distributing the prize money! Our thanks are due to them all.
Peter van Zeller