St Leonards is a classic village church – double-cell with a tall, narrow nave of almost Anglo-Saxon proportions and a doll-like chancel rebuilt in Neo-Norman by an unknown hand in 1844. Closed and proposed for demolition in the 1970’s, now in use as an artists’ workshop.
For a tiny and once very forlorn church, St John the Baptist is now a hive of activity – with volunteer local friends organizing everything from a corn dolly workshop, to medieval music, to hedge-laying, to an exploration of English font stones. The ‘Spirit of Sutterby’ is an exemplar project bringing the community together.
“Bury me there!” said Bill Bryson, of Thornton-le-Beans church, in North Yorkshire. Well we can offer him a plot in the churchyard for the church now belongs to us.
Deep in the Golden Valley, on an unclassified road leading up from Peterchurch to Urishay Common, lies a building raised up from the road which looks for all the world like a barn. It is in fact the earliest purpose-built chapel to a castle in Herefordshire.
This remarkable Strict and Particular Baptist Chapel was founded in 1792 by Francis Cox and vested in our care over 20 years ago following its closure. We saved the chapel from a conversion which would have destroyed much of its historic character inside – including a total immersion baptistery.
When we took on Old St Peters it was under threat of demolition and near derelict, with fixtures and fittings stripped away; now it is the workshop of Ben Finn, who helped us repair and breathe new life into the church. We are delighted that one of our most challenging of churches is now an exporter of great art to churches elsewhere.
An ancient and beautiful church glimpsed each day by hundreds of commuters on the East Coast Mainline in Cambridgeshire – and blessed with a very committed and energetic group of Local Friends.