Welcome to our Church.
The small village church of St Leonard and St Catherine in Drayton St Leonard has been worshipped in for over 800 years. Much of the Nave is Norman, with two fine doorways, although the Chancel was added later. Its most striking feature is the free-standing tower, built of massive oak and chestnut beams standing within the main building and rising through the roof to a height of 43 feet. Internally the Victorian restoration aimed to return the church to the style in which it was originally built, and we have inherited a building of simple charm. A rota of volunteers keep it open during the day for anyone to visit, read, reflect, pray or just sit. We hold services most Sundays, details can be found in the 'Services and Events' section.
The ringers are very pleased with our new bells. All the work on the bells is complete and the clock has been reinstalled, it is now electrically wound. Many thanks to all sponsors and doners. To find out more, come to a bellringing practise, most Wednesdays at 7.30pm for an hour.
Our usual pattern of services is currently:
On the first Sunday of each month we have an evening service at 6pm. Usually on odd months (e.g. Jan) this is Communion and on even months (e.g. Feb) it is Evensong. Please check the Calendar for details as these do vary from time to time.
On the second Sunday in the month we have a morning communion at 09.30am.
On the third Sunday we have a lay led morning service.
On the fourth Sunday there is a Team service, a service held in one of the churches in the the Dorchester Team.
If the month has a fifth Sunday we hold a service in one of the Cluster churches.
Check the Calendar for the latest details and times as the usual pattern of services varies from time to time, especially for major festivals and special occasions.
Listen out for ... the bells which are usually rung before each service and special occasions, and ... the organ, which our team of organists play when available ... and join in with our singing of Hymns - and occasionally Psalms.
Click on the 'Services and Events' link, left, and then on the tab 'All Events' for more details. See more on our Music page.
Check the Calendar for exact dates as the usual pattern of services varies from time to time.
Let us know if you'd like to join the flower arrangers rota, you can send us a message through the ‘Get in touch’ tab. The church is usually beautifully decorated and sometimes stunning flower displays are on show. Traditionally there are no flowers in church in Advent and Lent, the times of preparation for Christmas and Easter which makes their return at the festival particularly special. In past years the flowers at Remembrance (11 Nov and the nearest Sunday) have been a great focus for quiet contemplation and prayer.
Team and Cluster.
We are a member of the Dorchester Team of parishes, details on the Team Webpage . Within the Team, we are a member of the Cluster, comprising the parishes of Berinsfield, Marsh and Toot Baldon and ourselves. (There is currently no Cluster website, just refer to the individual parish websites in the ACNY pages, see the 'Links' or 'More Information' pages. Team and Cluster services are usually added in these pages. The Team mother church is Dorchester Abbey and they have a page of information on upcoming services in the coming week in Team Churches and online).
Details of services and activities in Drayton St Leonard can also be found in the monthly Church Newssheet which was distributed in paper form to all houses in the village, though since the pandemic it has only been distributed electronically (which allowed us to add more pages!). Let us know if you would like to receive it.
Our vicar, the Revd. Teresa Stewart-Sykes, is Team Vicar for the Cluster. The vicarage is in Berinsfield.
Do send us a message or phone us to learn about getting married, or arrange a baptism or funeral; click the 'Get in touch' link, left.
Pastoral care -
- is an important part of our mission. This means looking after our community's needs, caring and advising, spiritually, mentally and physically. If you'd like to talk, over a cup of coffee perhaps, or want to know more about Christianity, please click the 'Get in touch' link. Safeguarding the vulnerable is everyone's responsibility, more information at the foot of this page and in the 'Safeguarding' and 'News and Notices' links, left.
There is a prayer request book on the table in the church; during most services we include intercessions (prayers for the wider community and the world etc) so please use it.
We support the Wallingford Food Bank and its local outpost in Berinsfield. A basket for donations is provided just inside the door on the pew seat on the left. Donations are offered at the altar during Sunday service (currently not being done) before going to the foodbank. Contact the Vicar if you need help from the food bank, she can arrange a voucher exchangeable at Wallingford Food Bank. See our Food Bank page for more.
The Village Community.
The Church Fête, our main annual fundraiser, is organised by a committee from the whole village. It is usually held in June, see the village website or click on events, left for more information.
The whole village, not just churchgoers, support the church in many other ways too, including bellringing, flower arranging, choir singing at the Carol service, cleaning and grounds maintenance.
Another regular fund raiser is the Safari Supper. Look out for the next one in the usual media: our parish newssheet; the DSL News & Views paper; the village website and these pages.
The church porch is used as a distribution point for newspapers, volunteers bring the papers from the newsagents in Berinsfield so people only have to walk to the church to get their copy. Open an account with Berinsfield's Savaforce (Costcutter) store to join in.
We like to be involved - please get in touch with any suggestions for community activities.
We'd like to meet you too, please come to any of our services and introduce yourself, or call the church office for information.
Additional information can be found in the links, left, particularly in the pages below 'About Us'.