A KENDAL church has celebrated its 175th anniversary.

A special mass, led by the Bishop of Lancaster, the Rt Rev Michael Campbell, was held at Holy Trinity and St George Church on Blackhall Road to mark the occasion.

Assistant priest Father Andrew Dawson said: “It feels quite special to be here for the church’s anniversary, and to know that the church has been a witness to the faith in the town for all that time.” The church's foundation stone was laid on October 27, 1835, and the church built in the neo-Gothic style by Kendal architect George Webster.

It was completed two years later, at a cost of £4,000, replacing an earlier chapel on Stramongate.

Behind the build was Father Thomas Wilkinson, who was parish priest for 50 years.

Father Hugh Pollock, the current parish priest, said: “Since that time the church has developed with the town and countryside around it.

“It has welcomed parishioners arriving from other parts of the county, then counties, and beyond to find work in the factories of Kendal.

“More recently, people have joined the congregation either to retire here or to work in less industrial businesses.

“The parish has become a rich mixture of Kendalians and incomers, most recently myself.”

Father Hugh has been at the church for two months, joining from Lancaster University “And at the same time the Catholic church has developed too,” he said.

The church has seen a number of structural changes over the years. The floor was raised in 1908 after devastating floods, and electricity replaced gas in 1927.

As a Grade II* listed building and on the English Heritage building at risk register, a careful eye is being kept on the church, not least because of an ongoing battle against the effects of the porous Kendal sandstone from which it was constructed.

More modern additions have also included an electronic organ with a microchip that reproduces the sound of English cathedral organs.