Save Leigh Church
All Saints Appeal
All Saints Church is a Grade ll listed building which has been standing on Swan Lane since 1896.
As with many remote churches throughout England, neither the small regular number of those who attend church services nor the diocese can afford the repairs and maintenance of the building. Having paid for essential repairs recently, there is virtually nothing left in the kitty.
The villagers have set up a fundraising group, not only to maintain the existing building, but also to improve it so future residents can make use of the church.
The long term plan is to turn All Saints Church into a multi-use building; not only a church, but also as a community venue where local groups and residents can make use of the building.
Before this can happen, several refurbishment works are required, including the installation of mains water, a fire exit, and ensuring the church pews can be easily moved and kept safe.
Latest news and raffle planning
The time has come to re-start the Leigh Christmas Raffle!! We had two or three very successful years with it and then gave it a rest. Now however we are again faced with substantial expenditure on our church building.
The 5 yearly inspection by the Church Architect has recommended repairs estimated to cost up to £30,000 over the next 5 years and in addition we want to complete the programme of improvements to make the building as user friendly as possible.
You will recall that we carried out urgent repairs to the roof, we re-surfaced the path leading to the porch, we installed a lovely new oak south door. We have planning permission for a new ‘Eco Loo’, but are having to go back for a revised consent as we discovered that the building we originally asked for does not have disabled friendly access – when this comes through we will have to go to the Diocese for permission, but a visit from their Committee was very positive. The cost is likely to be around £3,000.
We have had to carry out a full Fire Risk Assessment that cost some £450 – but thankfully did not throw up any major problems! The PCC has also authorised the purchase of several new heaters in an effort to make the church a bit more welcoming in winter.
One big blow recently has been the tree survey which recommends that we fell two of the chestnut trees on the roadside on safety grounds – I am in the process of finding out how much this will cost.
We also want to take out the pews in the rear part of the church to make the space much more flexible – they would be replaced with an equivalent number of movable, stackable chairs so that available seating on the few occasions when the church is full would not reduce.
So I am hoping to enlist your help in two ways – firstly by helping us to get a really good list of prizes and secondly by selling tickets. The target is to get the main prizes at least sorted and tickets available for sale as from the Harvest Celebration and Tea in All Saints on Sunday 20th October.
Our intention this year is to run two ‘parallel’ raffles. The first with prizes consisting of Experiences, Food and Drink, local craftwork etc; the second to have an animal theme, with equestrian experiences / facilities, cat and dog items and similar.
The list of raffle prizes is shown here - contact Hugh for tickets, to offer prizes or for more information.
The team behind the Save Leigh Church Appeal has made excellent progress in the past two years with several projects being completed at All Saints Church.
The Diocese gave approval to the team to reopen the south door. It was thought this door - part of the original church design - was blocked off when All Saints was moved to its Swan Lane location.
This was not the case... masonry within the church wall shows the door was boarded up in the 1940s.
Work has now been completed to remove this modern masonry work and install a bespoke fitted solid timber door.
As well as renovating the church so it is more accurate to it's original look, we have now a second entry/exit point. This is essential for fire safety, and gives users direct access to the rear field.
As well as this, the ageing stone path has been resurfaced to give instantly improved accessibility to the building for all. This was partially funded by the Parish Council, with an additional grant from Wiltshire Council.
And a plan to disconnect the church pews from their floor fixings has been successful. The pews can now be moved to a safe storage space to allow for larger events to be held in the building.
The current project involves gathering the relevant permissions to install a toilet on the grounds of All Saints.
There is currently a temporary Portaloo situated at the front of the building. Plans to build an Eco-loo behind the church are well underway.
The team behind the Save Leigh Church Appeal would like to thank the invaluable voluntary labour from people who live in the parish, and the fantastic fundraising efforts of Cathy Skelton's 200 Club.
Join our volunteers
Would you join a working group to come up with some plans to save our church? You do not need to be someone who comes to our services, just someone who wants to see the church available for the future.
Come along to our regular meetings if you would like to discuss some novel ideas for keeping Leigh Church open. We are a very friendly bunch who would really appreciate your input and opinions. Don't let Leigh lose one of its last village assets and come and join the fun!
You can also find us on Facebook page - Save Leigh Church. You will not be asked to contribute to the cost of the church services.
Phone, text, email or write to the Church Treasurer, Hugh Thomas at Upper Waterhay Farm, Leigh, SN6 6QY, 01285 860488, 07712 019129, email@example.com and then come to a very informal meeting to exchange ideas.