Diocese of Carlisle

St Olaf'S Church, Wasdale Head, Cumbria, CA201EX

St Olaf's Church, Wasdale Head, Cumbria, Gosforth: St Mary
St Olaf's Church, Wasdale Head, Cumbria., CA201EX

Welcome to Wasdale Head and England’s smallest parish church. Wasdale Head is the birthplace of English rock climbing and many of England’s finest fells are in the parish – among them Great Gable, Pillar and the highest - Scafell Pike, so is its deepest lake, Wastwater, and they create a montage that many regard as one of Britain’s finest views.

Amongst these wonders of God’s creation sits the little church of St Olaf’s – the parish church of Wasdale Head. The site has been the base of the Christian Community here for over 1000 years - though much of the present building only dates from circa 1550. St Olaf's can quite accurately be described as a little stable, with pews, ancient beams and a flagstone floor - a perfect place to worship God.

Faith in the Fells - We are usually open every day for visitors and for private prayer, but at present we can only open for Sunday services. Under the latest Covid19 regulations, churches must be staffed when open. In a small community (there are 25 of us) it isn't practical, we are at work and no residents are retired!

We are longing to be fully open again. Each year we welcome many thousands of visitors from around the world - in 2019 we welcomed visitors from 43 countries, and 7 of the world's 8 continents. With only a track and a footpath leading to the church, most are walkers or climbers on their way to and from some of England's finest fells. Many call in for quiet moments of prayer or meditation, and enjoy the silence amidst the grandeur and permanence of God's creation. St Olaf's simplicity and smallness is what people love.

However, we are open for welcoming (and hopefully inspiring!) services at 11.30am on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month. Do come and join us if you can, we'd love to see you! 

The parish of Gosforth & Wasdale is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults. Any matters of concern should be reported to our Parish Safeguarding Officers, Steven & Susan Round (stevenround@btinternet.com), or if appropriate to the local authority or the police.