St Leonard’s is part of the Fiveways Benefice with St John’s Boddington, Holy Cross Byfield, St Nicholas Eydon and St Mary’s Woodford Halse.
The Rector is the Rev Paul Trathen who lives at Byfield Rectory 01327 260204
About St Leonard and the Church
This church takes its name from St Leonard of Noblac who was born around 466 and lived to be 99. He lived a monastic life and became known as the Patron Saint of Prisoners and Women in Childbirth.
It is believed that this church was built in 1240 and in 1259 the first Rector was recorded. The Register of Baptisms and Burials goes back to 1540 and the Marriage Register to 1558.
The Piers, Nave, Font and Tower Arch are Norman and the Iron work on the Aumbrey Door in the Sanctuary is about 600 years old. The Nave roof is 15th century. The Font is Norman and the wooden cover was made in 1991. The three bells are dated 1592, 1608 and 1649. Two were recast by T Bone, Bellfounder in 1938. The organ dates from 1881/2. The clock in the tower was built by Thomas Williams of Kings Sutton in 1747.
The silver communion cup is dated 1682 and the silver paten 1713. This was given by Edmund Adams, Grandson of Simon Adams, Rector of this parish from 1628 until his death in August 1673, and lies buried in the Chancel. It is dedicated for the use of the Parish of Aston le Walls in the County of Northampton.
Extensive restoration was carried out at the beginning of the 20th century including the rebuilding of the Tower.
The Church is undergoing a programme of restoration to ensure future generations can worship in and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this ancient Church.
We started with the Tower in 2010, which required urgent attention to the pointing and replacement of a large number of stones; this was the first stage of a five year plan of work. Phase two was for the Nave Roof and Clerestory windows to be repaired, together with the West Porch roof. This was completed in 2014.
We had planned to undertake the final phase to include the lower windows in 2017, but, unfortunately, we were faced with the need to replace the Chancel roof urgently. We were very fortunate in being successful in our bid to the Historic Churches Roofing Fund who gave us a grant to carry out this work. In the Summer of 2016 thieves attacked the South Aisle roof removing, before they were disturbed, 3 strips of lead. It was agreed that we could include this work in the programme for the Chancel Roof and, after receiving the cost of replacing the lead from our insurance company, we were able to use coated stainless steel for this roof. This is the same material as on the Nave roof.
We are currently seeking grants to cover the cost of the final phase of this programme of restoration which we hope to be able to undertake next year.
We are most grateful to all who have donated to the appeal both individuals and charities.
We have received grants from the following charitable funds for this work:
Mercers Charitable Foundation
Benham Charitable Settlement
Garfield Weston Foundation
Northampton Historic Churches Trust
Frances Coales Charitable Foundation
Historic Churches Roofing Fund