Fell Church -
Afternoon service for home communicants
|A Parish Magazine of 1898 states
"an afternoon service at the Church room on Grange Fell has been
recommenced for the winter months". This 'room' was in the home
of Mrs Nell Smith, 7 Front Row Cottages, Fell Road, who
generously provided accommodation so that the serving community
who lived 'up the Fell' could worship regularly.
||Nine years later, in 1907, Miss Sophia
Mary Arkwright generously provided money in memory of her sister,
Miss Harriet Beck Arkwright, for the building of the Fell Church Room,
which was dedicated on 26 April of that year by the Rt Revd Dr
Diggle, Bishop of Carlisle.
|According to the Parish Magazine of September
'It was built upon a stone basement, which
forms a capital storeroom below, under the superintendance of Mr
George Thompson, a resident on Grange Fell in former years.
The clever and comely superstructure has been erected by Mr
Wrinch of Ipswich, who is a specialist in such buildings. It is
all of wood, and roofed with American 'cedar' shingles, which
give a charming effect. A folding screen crosses the east
end, to enclose, when not in use, the Holy Table and other
adjuncts of Divine Service. When he screen is closed, the
room can be used for other purposes.'
The Misses Arkwright lived originally in Eggerslack House, but
Sophia Arkwright moved to Nutwood (later Bayview Nursing Home)
after her sister died. The picture on the left is of
Henrietta, and the one on the right shows her sister (L), with a
Henrietta and Sophia were the great great granddaughters of Sir
Richard Arkwright, whose spinning machines revolutionised the
manufacture of cotton, and who was the founder of the modern
factory system, the creator of a new industrial society that
On Empire Day Henrietta gave the children at the primary school
nuts and oranges!
In 1933, when the Parish Church was being
reordered, the original east window was moved to the Fell Church Room,
and in 1950 the length of the Room was increased by one third, a slate
roof was erected, and the outside pebble-dashed. Water was laid on, a
kitchen was created, and offices were provided. The interior was
beautified as a result of a large number of gifts in memory of
parishioners who have worshipped in and worked for this Church. Such
gifts include oak panelling for the chancel, a new oak altar, Communion
rails, altar books, bible, cruets and other stained glass windows.
On Sunday, 29th April 2007, the parish celebrated the centenary
of this little church, with a two-day exhibition, and a special service
“All in the April
Evening” sung at Evensong by St. Paul’s choir brought to a close
three days of celebrations in Fell Church to mark its centenary, all
that remained was a visit to the grave of Henrietta and Sophia
Arkwright in Grange Cemetery. Members of the congregation made their
way up the hill after the service to lay flowers as a tribute to the
two sisters who were responsible for the purchase of land and
building the mission church a hundred years ago. Earlier in the day
members of the Fell congregation enjoyed a buffet lunch kindly
donated by two of their number. It was interesting to learn from the
Rector’s sermon at Evensong that though numbers attending Fell
Church are quite small the average weekly attendance of about thirty
per week has remained constant over the past hundred years.
An exhibition in church during the week
displayed many photographs and archive material one aspect of which
dealt with the benefactors, their family background and the
countless ways in which they influenced life in Grange. Other
displays showed the development of the community on “Upper Grange”
and the history of Fell Church which had actually begun many years
earlier when local residents met in “The Church Room” at number 7
Fell Cottages for services and fellowship.
During the two open days
about 120 people visited the little church to admire floral
arrangements, generously given by Grange Flower Services, to view
photographs and peruse the documents on display, many visitors returning
for a second visit as there was too much to take in at one time.
Descendants of the first residents and people still living in the
cottages were happy to relate their recollections to those present
adding an extra buzz to the event.
A booklet “A History of
Worship in Higher Grange” was on sale and that too proved very
popular. (Some copies still available in church or by ringing 34352)