Parishioners at St Matthew’s Church at Dendron were preparing in September 1992 to celebrate its 350th anniversary of the church, which was founded during the English Civil War.

A small but active band of parishioners was preparing to raise the rafters with songs of praise during two special anniversary services.

And as part of the celebrations the congregation, drawn mainly from Dendron, Leece and Gleaston, was holding an exhibition charting the history of the church where Quaker founder George Fox once preached and artist George Romney attended school.

The Rev Alan Campbell, of the Prayer Book Society, would take one of the special anniversary services on September 21.

One of the parishioners, Sheila Bamforth, said: “He will try to create the idea of what services were like when the church was first built.”

An exhibition in the church and schoolroom would include ancient documents and old photographs, some provided by staff from Barrow records office.

Set majestically on a hillside overlooking the village, the church was built as a Chapel of Ease in 1642, by Robert Dickinson, a citizen of London, who was born in Leece, for local people unable to walk to the mother church at Aldingham.

But up to 1652 no one seems to have been appointed to the living as George Fox stated in his diary: “I went to a chapel beyond Gleaston, which was built, but no priest had ever preached in it."

George Romney attended Dendron school in 1745, but was removed by his father for making little progress.

As the late Mr Francis Tate wrote in his history of Dendron church: "The expense of £1 per annum for tuition and threepence a day board and lodging would probably have some bearing on the decision."

In 1830 the church was extended and electricity was installed in the 1930s.

The bell loft was reopened in 1991 and in 1992 parishioners raised £12,000 to reroof the church.