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Current Projects Under Way

Grade 1 listed St Leonard’s has been placed on Historic England’s “Heritage at Risk” register in the most serious category.

However, renewal of the nave roof is now taking place thanks to funding from the National Lottery, alongside a major local fund raising campaign and with a significant contribution from FoSL. This project will also restore the south clerestory windows.

Future Projects and Regular Maintenance

Damp has penetrated over the years and threatens the important 13th and 15th century wall paintings. These paintings can only be restored when the damp has been eliminated.. Once the roof and the windows are fixed, and the climate inside the building is stabilised, work can begin on the long overdue preservation of the wall paintings.

Many other parts of the church also need restoration by specialist craftsmen. The sacristy, adjoining the chancel, has badly eroded stonework and rotted woodwork. The exterior stonework of many of the windows on the north side is badly eroded. The bells badly need maintenance. The church is not equipped with a modern sound system that would help the hard of hearing.

St Leonard’s has suffered from hundreds of years of neglect and consequent recurrent crises. Once the immediate works have been carried out, regular planned maintenance is the solution to preventing crises in the future.

Previously Funded:

The Friends have supported a variety of projects such as the restoration of the tower and the overhaul of the roof. In the ten years from 2007 to 2017 the Friends contributed nearly £100,000 to help fund repairs at St Leonard’s.

Major grants have been made for the restoration of the north clerestory windows and adjoining walls totalling £87,000. Other Friends’ grants included £6,600 to pay for repairs to the copper covering of the nave roof, £3,500 for the repair of the south aisle roof and lead flashing and £1,000 towards repairs to the tower clock..

In 2017 the Friends committed £6,000 to the funding of the detailed survey of the roof recently carried out by the church’s architect and expert advisors.

More recently FoSL has contributed well over £100,000 to the EU LEADER project, to the acquisition of a fine, modern pipe organ, and to other modernisation projects. The LEADER project has transformed the church with essential modern facilities: running water, a kitchen, WC, meeting and ringing rooms, and step-free access.