Information about the Church in days gone by
The ancient parish of Cartmel was extensive; it included Grange and places west to the River Leven, the southern part of Lake Windermere, east to the River Winster, and south to the shore of Morecambe Bay – about 40 miles round.
The railway arrived in 1857, and Grange began to develop. The Rev Henry Robert Smith succeeded Revd Rigg and he remained for 30 years. It was he suggested that Grange should be called Grange-over-Sands to avoid confusion with Grange in Borrowdale. He lived in Slack House until the Vicarage was built in 1858.
From early days the Church has sought to teach the Faith by means of pictures, sometimes on its walls, sometimes through windows and sometimes by sculptured or carved figures in wood or stone.
In November 2008 the church was given a major overhaul – as the pictures below show. Scaffolding was erected, loose plaster was scraped off the walls before repainting, and the dust of tens of years was hoovered off the wooden beams!
Further substantial re-ordering work took place in the church in 2016–17 after the Parish Hall was sold and space was needed with kitchen for social events. Many of the pews in the south side of the nave were removed to create a social area, and a kitchen was installed where formerly choir had robed. The oak from the pews was used to build three large storage areas under the south windows (which now contain folding chairs and tables for large events); also a cupboard for service leaflets at the rear of the right centre block and a bookcase for a lending library on the west wall. The shape of the original pews may easily be discerned.
At the same time a fully fitted kitchen was fitted, with microwave, cooker, dishwasher and fridge, and a serving hatch to the church.
In addition, the meeting room was re-ordered to provide an office and a storeroom for the flower team. An extra toilet, storeroom, and a small galley kitchen were also added at the north-east end of the building.
The inner main west doors had their wooden panels replaced with glass to provide a more welcoming entry into the church, and the car park was linked to the main west door by a block-paved footpath and area for wedding photographs.
In 2019, J M Spink Ltd of Leeds renovated and refurbished the organ, originally designed by George Rathbone, a well-known musician of Cartmel and built by Wm Hill & Son of Kendal in 1873. Wilkinsons of Kendal rebuilt it in 1933 and carried out further restorative work in 1953.
In 2020 dimmable and flexible floodlighting for the altar and sanctuary areas was installed, and in 2022 the wooden block flooring throughout the church was resanded and repolished.