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, Steeple, Red Pike, and the highest – Scafell Pike, so is its deepest lake, Wastwater. They jointly create a montage that was chosen as ‘Britain’s favourite view’ – see below!

Amongst these wonders of God’s creation sits the humble little church of St Olaf’s – the parish church of Wasdale Head, one of the most loved churches in Cumbria. The site has been the base of the Christian Community here for over 1000 years – though the present sturdy little stone building only dates from circa 1525, replacing an earlier wooden church (or perhaps churches – as it is unlikely that a wooden building would have lasted over 500 years). 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’. There’s an image of the interior below.

The church is OPEN daily from approximately 9am till shortly before dusk.

SERVICES – We have services in St Olaf’s at 11am on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month throughout the year, and on Easter Sunday and Christmas Day.


Sunday 11th December – 11am Morning Worship

Wednesday 21st December at 6pmCAROLS IN THE INN – in the bar at the Wasdale Head Inn – an occasion not to be missed! Our thanks to the Inn for hosting the event each year. Many stay on for a meal afterwards, a convivial evening is in prospect! The event will be led by the Rector, Philip Dorling.

Christmas Day at 11am – Festival Holy Communion, also led by the Rector Philip Dorling. This is usually the best attended service of the year, please come if you can.

Sunday 8th January at 11am – Celtic Praise
Sunday 22nd January at 11am – Morning Praise

On the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month, there are services at Nether Wasdale Church at 9.30am. Nether Wasdale is at the other end of the Lake, and its fine little church is in the centre of the village – well worth a visit.

Both churches are equipped with excellent inns nearby!

Please bookmark this site and stay in touch! Thank you.

The Parish of Wasdale Head! St Olaf’s church is at the foot of Great Gable, centre
St Olaf’s – a little stone barn, with whitewashed walls, flagstone floor and pews to seat 35!

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