St Leonard’s Church

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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.  Extensive restoration was carried out at the beginning of the 20th century including the rebuilding of the Tower.  The Church is undergoing a program 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 is 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 program 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.

Previous Reports
We are currently seeking grants to cover the cost of the final phase of this program of restoration which we hope to be able to undertake soon.  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, English Heritage, Church Care, Historic Churches Roofing Fund.