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Crosthwaite Parish Church, Keswick


Did you know there's an estimated 450 million old “round pounds” in piggy banks, pots, bottles and under sofa cushions, which will not be legal tender after Sunday 15th October?


Obviously that would be far too many for our roof appeal and we couldn't cope with that many, but we wouldn't mind a small percentage of them! If you find any at home, please bring them along to Crosthwaite Church where we will stick them on the roof of our model church and re-slate it. Once banked, all proceeds will go to the Crosthwaite Raise the Roof Appeal.

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Revd Stuart Penny's last service 28th May 2017


Last Sunday, the 28th, the congregation and friends of Crosthwaite Church said an emotional farewell to their vicar of 14 years and his wife, Stuart and Monica Penny. A packed church had gathered to wish them well and to hear Stuart’s last sermon from the Crosthwaite lectern. Stuart and Monica have been involved in so many community issues in their time at Crosthwaite from organising soup kitchens in the 2009 floods to dealing with ever increasing numbers of Toddlers in the Parish Room; supporting the town and its student family during the time of the bus crash and yet more involvement in the 2015 floods…. It was fitting that the service was attended by many whose lives had been touched in some way by the Penny’s.


Stuart’s sermon focussed on what we need to pack on a new journey. After entertaining contributions from the youngsters about packing toothbrushes and teddies, Stuart spoke of packing Jesus in his case, underlining the importance of keeping Christ close, of never going anywhere without Him. In the case of Stuart’s own journey, whilst he may be leaving the clerical collar behind, Jesus will be right there, as big a part of life as ever even beyond his earthly journey.


There was an eclectic mix of hymns traditional and new and the choir sang a beautiful setting of the Lord’s Prayer composed by Stuart and which had been sung at his collation, 14 years ago. A presentation was made to both Stuart and Monica following an introduction by Linda Tee, Church Warden which involved many amusing references to the word ‘penny’. In true Stuart fashion he sang a version of the Rolling Stones “This could be the Last Time” in a Gospel style before Laurence Durston-Smith gave an unconventional organ voluntary in the form of the Star Wars theme! After coffee, 130 plus attended a well organised salad lunch served in the Queen’s Hall. The Church and many in the town have a great deal to thank Stuart and Monica for and we all wish them every happiness in their new life, close to family, in Shrewsbury.

Revd Stuart Penny's Retirement


Those of you who are occasional visitors to this site may be puzzled by the absence of Stuart Penny from its pages.   Stuart has now retired after fourteen years as Vicar of Crosthwaite. His last service was on Sunday 28th May and was followed by a splendid lunch which provided an opportunity for members of the Crosthwaite community to say their good-byes and express their gratitude for his service to our church.  He and Monica will shortly be moving back to their home in Shrewsbury.


The church is now officially in a period of interregnum while preparations are made to appoint a new vicar.  This is a lengthy process and it is unlikely that a new incumbent will be in post before the New Year.  

Meanwhile, we are fortunate to have our Curate, Revd Lucie Lunn, who will be available to officiate at services, weddings and funerals until the end of September when her curacy here ends.  The day-to-day running of the parish is in the capable hands of our PCC and churchwardens.  Our thanks must also go to our Rural Dean, Revd Charles Hope, who has taken on the onerous task of compiling service rotas for Crosthwaite through to January, enlisting the help of several local clergy, both active and retired.  Be assured, our usual service schedules for both St Kentigern’s and Underskiddaw will be uninterrupted.


Updates on the appointment process will be posted on this site and in the Parish Magazine.

The church was beautifully decorated by Dorothy and the team and so welcoming for the good sized congregation last Sunday. The service was led by one of the All Age teams. The focus this year was on the value of all the seasons including their ups and downs and on what each of us can learn from them in our walk with Christ. There was a collection of food contributions and cash for the local Food Bank and we were reminded of the 'need' on our own doorsteps as well as the need in distant lands. It was lovely to see members of Keswick School attending again. The choir sang the anthem 'Oh Lord how manifold', reflecting upon the abundant offerings we receive from God and how we need to acknowledge and praise Him for His greatest gift in His Son.

Rachel, Carol and Helen, one of our three all-age teams, gave us a bonfire party-themed service on Sunday 5th November, which included some of the younger congregation toasting marshmallows on a very realistic fire at the front of church.  In a fast-moving and exciting service the team gave us fireworks, each one a short verse of Scripture telling the story of how God uses the symbolism of fire in the Bible, often to indicate his presence and light our way, and then how Jesus picks up on this in his teaching.  There were hymns and songs all linked to fire, and inspiring thoughts in Rachel’s talk to how preparing for a bonfire party and lighting a fire can compare to keeping our church alive;  inviting others in to be close to the warmth, making them welcome and then feeding them.  There was a strong message that the Holy Spirit, with his tongues of fire, would help us to do all that.