The Parish Church of St. Mary is a small but beautiful church. Locally it has been known as ‘The Cathedral in the Forest’ because it is situated in the ancient Forest of Pendle.
Sunday services are held at 9.30am, with Holy Communion on the 1st-4th Sundays and Morning Prayer on the 5th Sunday. From Easter to Halloween the church is open every day from 10am to 4pm and from Halloween to Easter the church is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4pm.
For further information please contact Revd. Julie Smith on 01282 613206
A small chapel existed on the site dating from the 1200s. The original stone built church dates from 1544. The tower is now the only part of the early church which survives. On the west face of the tower wall, about one third of the way up, just above a small stone ledge is an inlet oval stone, with a smaller oval in the middle. This small oval shape used to be open so that the warden could look out of the tower to see when funeral or wedding processions were approaching the church. At the time that this small opening was used the path from the road to the church came past the front of the Old School House and not at the angle it does now.
The opening at the centre of the oval stone is now filled in. It has been known as “The Eye of God” for many years, probably because of its shape and also because of its original use. It would be easy to imagine some local wit telling children that God used it to see who was coming to church.
St. Mary’s has strong connections with the Witch Trials of 1612, most of the accused lived within the parish. The grave to the right of St. Mary’s church porch, as you come in, is known as the ‘Nutter Grave’. In this grave are buried members of the Nutter Family, who were interred during the 17th Century. These people may have been related to Alice Nutter of Roughlee, but she is not buried in this grave. We would ask you to treat the Nutter Family grave with respect. Many family descendants still live in the local area.