FRIENDS OF LEIGH CHURCH
Registered charity number (England and Wales): 1174913
of Leigh Church (FOLC) is a registered charity set up in 2015 with a
specific remit to fundraise for urgent repairs to St Giles, the Grade 1
listed parish church in Leigh on Mendip, and to develop the church
building for wider community use.
now have over 130 local members as well as supporters across Somerset
and the UK, many with family connections to the village spanning many
The historic importance of our church
church in Leigh was first recorded in the 13th century, as a chapel of
ease connected to St Andrew’s, a larger church in the parish of
Mells. In the late 14th century, the current parish of Leigh on Mendip
was established and the first church, as we would recognise the
building today, was built between 1350 and 1390.
the centuries numerous additions and changes have been made to the
building. During a series of renovations in the 19th and 20th centuries
the historical and artistic value of various features was fully
recognised. These include a nearly complete set of medieval pews that
is now considered to be of national importance, fragments of medieval
stained glass and original woodwork.
this list of treasures is added to the splendour of St Giles’
external appearance, with its distinctive ‘Somerset tower’,
one of the very best examples of this local feature, the true
importance of our beautiful church becomes clear.
Saving our Church
Quinquennial report written in 2016 identified that urgent repairs were
needed to the church, particularly the 300-year-old roof lead, which
was leaking badly. Without immediate action, the church building was
considered to be at considerable structural risk from rapid
deterioration that would only be exacerbated by bad weather and further
quickly assembled a project team to meet these challenges, including
specialist conservation experts and committed members of the village
community, and we acted swiftly to apply for funding to carry out the
essential work. Substantial grants worth a total of £300,000 were
secured primarily from applications to the National Lottery Heritage
Fund and the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund, with further support
from numerous other organisations.
funding, with further income raised by FOLC’s own ongoing
fundraising programme, paid for the vital work on the roof and nave,
helping to stabilise the building.
Click here to watch the video of how we saved our church
Leigh Church at the heart of the village
National Lottery Heritage Fund grant also supported the addition of
various amenities in the church, including a heritage display area,
café facilities and an accessible toilet.
community-based initiatives have encouraged villagers to make more use
of the church, which is now a flexible and well-equipped space for
interest from outside the area has also been encouraged with the
creation of a village heritage trail, while improved access to church
records and other information provides a valuable resource for
genealogists and other historians and enthusiasts.
connections have also been forged with the village primary school,
helping teachers to develop their pupils’ interest in the history
they see around them.
What the future holds for Leigh Church
the church is now in a better state of repair than in 2015, it remains
vulnerable. The next phase of work, to help keep the church dry and
weatherproof, is being planned, but we desperately need to secure more
funds to make it happen.
Can you help us?
All the money we raise, including membership subscriptions, directly supports our work.
only costs £12 a year to join FOLC as a member and help ensure
the future of our beautiful church. If you would like to become a
member, please complete the
application form available via the link below and return it with your
payment to the address shown on the form.
FOLC membership application / donation form
you prefer to pay your membership subscription using online banking,
you will also find our bank details and payment instructions on the
All the donations we receive help us protect and preserve Leigh Church
and keep it at the heart of the village community. You can make a
gift using the form above, or if you prefer you can use our online
donation form at https://wonderful.co.uk/pay?ref=1174913 to give via open banking.
more information about FOLC’s work, or if you have any questions
about membership or ways you can support us, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
We will reply as quickly as we can.
commitment to our church and village will continue for as long as we
are needed, ensuring that St Giles remains at the very heart of our
community for generations to come.
Click here for an update on the Christmas Appeal (Apr2021)
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