Welcome to the Church of St Michael, Shap. A map showing the parish boundary is available on the AChurchNearYou site.


Every Sunday at 10.30am, except the 5th Sunday of the month, when there is a joint benefice service: location varies.


The church is open every day.

The churchyard surrounding St Michael's is closed, and is maintained by the Local Authority. A new churchyard can be found up the hill to the east.

History and architecture

The church is a listed building, Grade II. It was originally served by monks from Shap Abbey. Parts of the church date from about 1200, including the nave arcade (pillars) and the north wall, with its Late Perpendicular windows. The chancel dates from 1726 and contains stone from Shap Abbey. The tower was added in 1828. The present building owes its appearance to the major restoration carried out under the County Architect, George Dale Oliver, in 1897-1898. At this time, the chancel and vestry were rebuilt, the south chapel added, and the interior refitted. At the time, Oliver's work was much criticised and the vicar, Revd Joseph Whiteside, publicly regretted the loss of so much of the ancient building. 

The church contains four fonts. An ancient stone font dating from about 1300 survives in the porch. The font in regular use today is a fine example of pink Shap granite, given by William Brebner, manager of the Shap Granite Company in 1899, and dedicated to his memory. Two further fonts, one used for floral arrangements and another simple basin, can also be seen.

The chapelry of Mardale was formerly part of Shap parish. The chapel at Mardale Green was dismantled when Haweswater reservoir was created in the 1930s. The weathervane on the tower comes from Mardale chapel. The burials at Mardale were disinterred and reinterred in the new churchyard. There was formerly a chapel in Swindale, immediately west of the village, but the building is now lost. A further chantry chapel, now owned by the National Trust, can be found in the hamlet of Keld.

There are a number of fine pieces of stained glass, includiung the Victorian east and St Michael's windows (dedicated to Elizabeth Clark and Revd Stephen Whiteside, vicar and father of Joseph Whiteside, respectively). The Boaz and Ruth window dates from 1903. The south chapel contains the striking Millennium Window (dedicated September 2000), by Adam Goodyear of Huddersfield. It depicts a number of local features, including the railway, Kidsty Pike, the Goggleby Stone, Keld Chapel and Shap Abbey.

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