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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.

Church Services
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" )
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.

Advent and Christmas Services and News
Once again we will be taking part in BBC Radio Lancashire's sing-along Lancashire Sings Christmas . This will be on Thursday December 20th, 7-8pm . We thank Thurnham Hall for agreeing to host this for us.

Penitential Service: in preparation for Christmas, Saturday 22 December at 10.30 am at St Bernadette's. Have a pause in the hectic Christmas preparations to be reconciled with the Lord in this short service.

Christmas Mass Times:

Monday Christmas Eve: 7.00 pm Christmas Family Mass and Blessing of the Crib at St Bernadette's.

Tuesday Christmas Day:

  • 9.00 am Mass at Thurnham.
  • 11.00 am Mass at St Bernadette's.

Our annual ecumenical carol service will be an Epiphany Service this year. Together with parishioners from St Luke's, Winmarleigh, Christ Church, Glasson, and St Michael's Cockerham, we'll meet on Epiphany Sunday, 6th January at 3pm here in Thurham church. Please join us!

We're having a Christmas Hamper raffle in aid of the Lancaster Homeless Shelter. Donations of goods welcome!
The monthly collection for the homeless shelter is on-going. There is a basket for donations at the back of the church.

This 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) .

The latest Lancaster Faith and Justice newsletter can be downloaded from here

Useful Postcodes
Ss Thomas and Elizabeth, Thurnham: LA2 0DT, Lancaster Cathedral: LA1 3BT, St Bernadette's: LA1 4HT

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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 4th December 2018 by sk