The Roman Catholic Church of Ss Thomas and ElizabethThurnham lies some 5 miles south of Lancaster in the Diocese of Lancaster. The Parish was founded in 1785 and was originally in the Diocese of Liverpool. The present building was consecrated in 1848. A report on the Consecration of the church in 'The Tablet' (9th. September 1848) stated that the churchyard 'is laid out with much picturesque beauty and effect, being covered with soft grassy turf, and planted with poplars, box and yew trees, those venerable appurtenances of 'the field of the dead,' shady lanes and serpentine walks lead from the sacred edifice to the Hall. The situation, from its silence and retirement amidst the deep woods which surround Thurnham Hall, is admirably adapted for contemplation and prayer.'
The church serves the Catholic communities of Thurnham, Ashton, Condor Green, Forton, Glasson Dock and Cockerham with an approximate head count of 60. In the year ending December 2014, the parish celebrated 3 marriages. The average Mass attendance is in the region of 48. The parish is rural in nature, the highest population concentrations being in Glasson Dock, Cockerham and Forton. Year round, there are a number of visitors from Thurnham Hall (holiday apartments) and in the summer, there are also regular visitors from the local holiday caravan sites. Since November 2001, significant fraction of the congregation, has been made up of parishioners from St. Bernadette's Church. After Easter 2009, the Diocese closed the church of St Joseph's, Galgate and re-merged it
with Ss Thomas & Elizabeth's. Although this was a bereavment to the
parishioners of St Joseph's, it has become a great blessing to Thurnham as
the St Joseph's parishioners have brought their talents to our parish.
We extend a warm welcome to visitors and new parishioners: please make yourself known to Father Peter.
If you are interested in learning more about the Catholic faith, please ask Father Peter about the R.I.C.A programme (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) or visit the Diocesan web page about the Catholic Faith.
Come Home for Christmas is an initiative of the Catholic Church which aims to offer a seasonal welcome to Catholics who for different reasons no longer or rarely attend Mass. Whatever your story or journey, the door is open for you. The journey back into the Catholic Community can of course happen at any time and the information on the web-site may therefore be of help to you at any point throughout the year.
You are most welcome to come forward at the Eucharist and receive a Blessing from the Priest, if for any reason you feel unable to receive Holy Communion.
Mass is celebrated at 9:00am on Sundays.
The Saturday Vigil Mass is celebrated at 6:30pm at St. Bernadette's Church, Bowerham where a later Sunday mass (11:00am) is also celebrated.
Details of other local churches, schools and societies can be found at the Diocesan web-site, where a comprehensive list of links to other web-sites of interest can be found.
How to find us
The church is located almost 5 miles south of Lancaster off the A588. Access to the church is gained using the signed private road to
Thurnham Hall to the east of the A588.
Travelling from Lancaster on the A588, this private road is set in on the left hand side and is flanked by a short stone wall,
almost immediately opposite a well-disguised wooden bus shelter, one mile south of the Stork Public House at Condor Green.
For the moment the church is served by the number 89 bus on Mondays - Saturdays ( Lancaster-Knott End via Glasson Dock) although this does entail a half-mile walk from Thurnham Hall gate, but this service may be discontinued soon. Please check a current timetable.
How to contact us
Priest-in-charge: Father Peter Sayer (e-mail: st.bernadettes"at" talktalk.net )
Phone 01524 63000
Ss Thomas and Elizabeth RC Church, Thurnham, Nr. Lancaster LA2 0DT
Please note that the Presbytery is now in private occupation
Each one of you has received a special grace, so, like good stewards responsible for all these different graces of God, put yourselves at the service of others. If you are a speaker, speak in words which seem to come from God; if you are a helper, help as though every action was done at God's orders; so that in everything God may receive the glory through Jesus Christ.”1 Peter 4: 10-11
There are many different ministries within the church: if you would like to know more about ways in which you could contribute, please see Father Peter or ask for a ministry leaflet. The leaflet groups ministries into broad areas such as: visiting, liturgy, catechetic, spirituality, working with young people, administration, communication and social and fund-raising. Please ask for more details.
Easter Services and News
Penitential Service in preparation for Easter: Tuesday 16th April at 7pm at St Bernadette's.
Maunday Thursday, 18th April
Chrism Mass: 11.30am in The Cathedral
Mass of the Lord's Supper: 7.00 pm at St Bernadette's.
Good Friday, 19th April:
Stations of the Cross: 11am at St Bernadette's
Solemn Liturgy of the Lord's Passion: 3pm at St Bernadette's
Easter Sunday, 21st April
9.00 am Mass at Thurnham.
11.00 am Mass at St Bernadette's.
Our parish Retreat Day will be held at Hyning Hall on Saturday 13th April.
The Annual Ecumenical Open Air Songs of Praise will be on Sunday 26th May 2.30pm in the Dalton Arms Car Park. All most welcome! Come along and sing your favourite hymns accompanied by Blackpool Brass.
Our monthly collection for the homeless shelter is on-going. There is a basket for donations at the back of the church.
Last year, 2018, our annual parish donation went to Children of Hope (£250), the Lancaster Neuro Drop in Centre (£500), Mary's Meals (£250) and SPICMA (£250) .
If you have a suggestion for a charity recipient for the 2019 donation, please see Patrick or Pam before our next meeting on 23rd May
Tickets are still available for our annual Easter Egg Raffle in aid of CAFOD.
Next Parish Property Meeting, Thursday 26th April in church.
Next Parish Pastoral Council Meeting, Thursday 23rd May in church.
Our neighbours from the Anglican churches are running the Monday Munch, meeting up for company and a light lunch on the second Monday in the month. Look out for the posters for more details.
Thank you to everyone who came along to our parish social on 1st March and joined in the celebration of the 170th anniversary of the consecration of the church, and to those who contributed in any way. Thank you for making it such an enjoyable evening!
The latest Lancaster Faith and Justice newsletter can be downloaded from here
Ss Thomas and Elizabeth, Thurnham: LA2 0DT, Lancaster Cathedral: LA1 3BT, St Bernadette's: LA1 4HT
Church Building Repair Fund
The outstanding parish debt to the diocese has been repaid in full . The total amount spent on the building repairs to date is £85,565.09. We are very grateful to English Heritage for a grant of £47,355.73 towards this work and to all who have donated their time, talents, energy and money to the fund. Many thanks to all concerned.
Last updated 12th April 2019 by sk