St Columba's Church,
the Roman Catholic diocese of
Parish Priest: Fr. Bernard Woods, Tel. 01229 471405 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
For some historical pictures of Walney visit our Gallery.
The present church at St. Columba's dates from the early
60s, and takes the place of the one which was part of the present
The parish of St. Columba reflects the community in which it is situated (see map). It is very much an island community, and, in comparison to many other parishes, very active and committed. There are around 1400 baptised Catholics on the island, out of a total of 12-13000.
There is Mass every day of the week, and morning prayer. This is shared with the other Christian denominations on the island once a week, alternating between St. Columba's, St Mary's and Vickerstown Methodist Church. This initiative is only part of the commitment that the different Churches have to each other (see our Ecumenical Partnership.) On various Sundays during the year we have a united service, usually at 6.30pm which alternates between the three Walney churches.
Besides the church, there is also a very thriving school of around 200
pupils, working very much hand-in-glove with the now combined parish of St.
Columba's, Walney & St Patrick's,
Times of services:
Saturday: Vigil Mass: 5.30pm at St Columba's
Sunday: Mass: 11.00am at St Columba's
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays: Mass at St. Columba's, 8.45 am (other days at Sacred Heart Church, Barrow)
Have a look at our Millennium Prayer
(provided by Dr. Anne C. Parkinson)
There is evidence from the archaeological discovery early this century of
fragments of two ancient Viking crosses at
The Valor Ecclesiasticus, compiled by Thomas Cromwell in
1535, by order of Henry VIII, to assess the value of all the religious houses
During the Civil War there were a few skirmishes; one at Lindal and another that involved fighting at Hawcoat (at which the King's men were successful in forcing the Parliamentarians to retreat). From Hawcoat the Royalists, led by Sir John Maney, made their way to Walney, via the ford at low tide, to North Scale. The inhabitants' sympathies lay with the Parliamentarians. The village was deserted, and the King's men razed it by fire, apart from two houses, one of stone, the other belonging to a Royalist supporter. All opposition ceased. According to the diary of Sir Henry Slingsby, Sir John 'had an old parson that had in former times been a priest of the Roman Church to preach unto them and his sermon was to dehort them from rebellion. His pulpit was a large stone which he leaned upon, the countrymen standing round him very attentive to hear.'
The Preston family, who acquired the Abbey estates, always kept a priest as
a private chaplain throughout the Elizabethan and Stuart periods, at their home
the Manor of Furness, the remains of which still stands as the Abbey Tavern.
St Mary's Roman Catholic Church,
The most illustrious of the Jesuit priests to serve the
Manor Mission was Thomas West S.J., a member of the Society of Antiquaries
and a noted historian, writing both "The Antiquities of Furness or An
Account of the Royal Abbey of Furness" and also "A Guide to the
Lakes". He was well respected by all, a friend of Lord George Cavendish
and also of Edward Jackson the Vicar of Coulton. He lived first at Titeup
St. Columba's was established in 1916, initially as a chapel of St.
Patrick's Roman Catholic Church,
In 1949, St. Columba's became an independent parish in its own right. The
church until that time had been located in the
For further information on the above see:
Anne C. Parkinson "A History of Catholicism in the Furness Peninsula
1127-1997", published by the Centre for North West Regional
Studies, Lancaster University. ISBN 1-86220-055-6. Available at the
Deanery Bookshop, Heath's, Ottaker's and Furness Abbey museum (all local to
Religious News from around the world