Churches in Barrow continue to be alive and active during this crisis, even if their buildings must close.

In line with Government policy, churches have closed the doors of their buildings and suspended public worship in order to help prevent the spread of infection from COVID-19.

However, though the buildings are closed, this has not stopped churches from stepping up to the ‘new normal’, finding ways to practically serve the community and engage with spiritual interest.

Revd Robin Ham, co-leader of the Barrow Mission Community, a network of sixteen of Barrow’s churches, said: “These are strange, disorientating, and unsettling times. But Christians believe the church is not the building, it’s Jesus’ people, called to be his hands and feet - and now we’ve got a chance to demonstrate it.”

There will be no baptisms, no weddings, and funerals only at the graveside or crematorium and limited to immediate family.

But many churches across Barrow are offering practical support and working with partners to meet local community needs.

“It’s been inspiring and heart-warming to see the response across our town: communities pulling together, people being sacrificial with their time,” said Revd Ham.

“And as the church, we want to be part of that.”

Churches are serving as points for local food/medicine distribution centres, as well as providing meal packs, and offering a listening ear to those who need someone to talk to. St Mark’s are offering a limited Clothes Bank on request.

The chaplain at Furness General Hospital, Rev Debbie Wilde, continues to play a crucial role in supporting NHS staff and service users.

Revd Ham said: “It can take a crisis for us to realise that we’re not in control of our lives. And often it’s in those moments that we reach out for answers to bigger questions - about our fragility, our lack of control, and our need for hope. So as well as meeting practical needs, we’re trying to ensure we’re available to meet spiritual needs too.”

A number of churches are offering ‘virtual church’ through Facebook Live. South Barrow Team and Spring Mount are broadcasting a mini-service/sermon on Sunday mornings, whilst Grace Church is offering a midweek ‘Brew & Chew’ online at 1.30pm Monday to Friday.

For more information or to get in touch with your local church, please see