About Us

Ministry Team

We are fortunate at St Thomas’ to have a team of retired clergy and lay readers who assist Bryan with our worship and pastoral care.

Priest-in-Charge ~ Reverend

Bryan Kerr


Ron Rutter

In 2006 Ron retired after nearly 40 years in teaching, He was Deputy Head of a successful local comprehensive for his last 15 years. He was ordained in 2000 after several years as a Reader. Ron has been involved in several sports including table tennis (now only recreationally), football, rugby union, athletics. Recently he has enjoyed cycling and walking. His other interests include reading (particularly anything linked to Bletchley Park House or France), cooking, travelling and socialising. Ron’s son and his family live in Kent. His daughter lives with her husband & baby.

Lay Reader

Roger Bingham

Having been christened at St Thomas’, Roger has had a lifelong connection with Milnthorpe’s Parish Church. He has been a licensed Reader for over 35 years and participates in regular services as well as conducting many funerals.

A historian by profession Roger is keen that the church continues to play a full part in the social and community life of the village by hosting concerts, the horticultural show and a high-quality Summer Art Exhibition.

Roger particularly enjoys the out-door services on The Green on Good Friday, Summer Songs of Praise and Christmas carols with the Salvation Army.

He has welcomed the exceptionally large attendance at special services such as the Christmas musical services and the very popular children’s Christingle festival.

Lay Reader

Linda Cooper

Linda settled in the area over 30 years ago having lived and worked as a modern languages teacher in various secondary schools both in the UK and abroad.

Following her retirement Linda trained to become Licensed Lay Minister, she particularly enjoys pastoral care and getting involved with families that bring children for Christening. In her leisure time, as well as spending time with family and friends, she loves watching tennis, squash, dance and enjoys films, live theatre and music, and appreciates a good ‘whodunit’ and historical novels.

Lay Reader

Annie Garden

Annie is a retired medic who is thoroughly enjoying being retired in this glorious part of the world! She was licensed as a Reader in 2002 in Chester Diocese, moving up to this area in 2006 and has been Warden of Readers for Carlisle Diocese since 2016.

She has a passion for folk realising the greatness of God’s love for them. In her spare time Annie enjoys singing (a member of Lancaster Singers), listening to music, being with friends and walking with her dog – a Guide Dog reject called Megan – who Annie insists is the most beautiful black lab in the world.

Children’s Work

Sunday School meets most Sundays during the 11 am service. The children join the congregation for the first hymn and then go out in to the church centre for bible stories, teaching, prayer and fun activities. The children join the congregation towards the end of the service for a blessing and to ‘show off’ their handy work. They are a lively bunch inspired by a dedicated team led by Margaret, Liz, Sarah and Diane.

The children’s work is displayed around the church centre throughout the year, changing with the seasons.
There’s a children’s corner at the back of the church where children are very welcome to read books, colour pictures or play with quiet toys if they don’t want to join in with Sunday school.

Whatever your children would like to do they are very welcome to join us at St Thomas; they are an important part of our worship and we hope that they will enjoy their time with us.

Children’s craft and activity mornings are often arranged when all children of primary school age are welcome to join us.

Open the Book at Milnthorpe Primary School is performed on Monday mornings during term time. Bible stories are acted out by members of Heversham and Milnthorpe congregations.
The Kent Estuary Group of Anglican churches have appointed a KEY youth worker (KEY = Kent Estuary Youth) to work with young people of secondary school age.

Safeguarding: Promoting a safer Church

Church Policy and Guidance

The Parochial Church Council (PCC) of St Thomas’ Milnthorpe has adopted the House of Bishops ‘Promoting a Safer Church; Safeguarding Policy Statement’, and The Church of England’s Safeguarding Policy and Guidance, and a formal statement of this, signed on behalf of the PCC, is displayed in our church.

Download the Church of England’s Safeguarding Policy for Children and Young Adults.

Safer Recruitment and Training

Our parish supports the Sunday School team, the Craft and Activity team and the ‘Open the Book’ team working with children and young people, and also the Pastoral Care Team working with adults who are vulnerable. The leaders and volunteers working with our groups are safely recruited according to the Church’s national guidance and they receive the level of safeguarding training required by the Church.

St Thomas’ Church Safeguarding Officer

Mrs Linda Cooper
Tel: 015395 63836
email: [email protected]

The Carlisle Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA)

Charles Proctor
Tel: 07458 0168840 or email [email protected]

Vulnerable Adults – Our local Adult Social Services Office

Cumbria Adult Social Care & Children’s Services
County Offices, Busher Walk, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 4RQ
Tel: 01539 713377

Children – Children’s Services
Tel: 0333 240 1727

Our History

St. Thomas’ church is amongst the country’s earliest Victorian churches as it was opened within days of the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. Prominently situated, on the edge of the village green overlooking the Market Square, with its bell and clock tower visible from all around, the church displays its central role in the community. St Thomas’ architect George Webster intended the nave to accommodate 600 ‘hearers’ for whom a central block of pews, without a central aisle, was provided. The architecturally more elaborate Chancel dates from 1882. In the 1980s an upstairs hall and a downstairs entrance foyer for, among other activities, a popular Friday coffee morning were provided. Further changes are currently being planned for this area.

In 1992 we became a joint benefice with St Peter’s church, Heversham www.stpetersheversham.org. We are currently in a vacancy without a P-in-C , the new united benefice will include St. John’s Levens.
We’re working towards becoming part of a Mission Community based around the Kent Estuary. Recent improvements comprise complete redecoration and up-to-date heating, lighting and sound systems. Apart from church activities, the building is used by the community for a large annual art exhibition, the horticultural show and musical events for which the lofty interior and handsome pitch-pine Victorian ceiling provide excellent acoustics.

Community Facilities

Book our Church Centre!

The church centre is located in the West end of the church, and has upstairs and downstairs rooms, with toilet and kitchen facilities downstairs.


For everyone

Wheelchair Access:
Wheelchair access is from the north side of the church. We can accommodate you inside the church in your wheelchair. We have a handrail to help you up the steps to the communion rail, but if you would prefer to have communion or a blessing in your seat this is no problem, just let the sidesperson or welcomer know on your way in and we will happily do this for you.

Hearing Aid Loop:
We have a hearing aid loop. If you sit in the central pews you can adjust your hearing aid to pick up the loop.

Large print:
We have large-print hymn books and service books. The sidespeople or ‘welcomers’ as you come in will be only too happy to provide these for you.