St Andrew’s is a 15th century church situated in the centre of the village. It seats approximately 120 people. The church is in good order both structurally and spiritually. It holds four services a month and includes Common Worship, Book of Common Prayer and non-liturgical lay-led services. The bell tower has six bells, which are rung regularly.
As well as its regular programme of Sunday services, the church, of course, plays a central role in many weddings, christenings and funerals. However, there is a very strong sense that the church needs to be used for a wider range of activities. A significant project in the last few years has seen a magnificent toilet and servery being installed and this has considerably widened the scope for which the church is used. A monthly (first Tuesday) coffee morning attracts regular and enthusiastic village support. Breakfast is served in the church on an occasional basis (the most recent occasion saw 70 breakfasts being served) and a cooked lunch is served every other month as part of the innovative Community Spirit Sunday initiative (10.15 am Family service; 11.15 am Crafts for all ages; 1.00 pm 2-course lunch). Concerts and other events are also held from time to time under the banner of “Pimm’s in the Pews”.
A further application to the diocese is planned to enable the vestry to be enlarged and to further develop the north side of the church to facilitate more and varied community and family use.
In July 2017, the church organised its second annual Open Church Weekend which opened its doors to villagers and visitors alike to a variety of displays and activities, including c. 100 people Clipping the Church. A variety of music performances took place on the Sunday, which finished with a festive “Thomas Hardy” Evensong, featuring music from Hardy’s era, led by a specially assembled choir and band.
St Andrew’s Church, Leigh has an innovative and outward-looking leadership, and this reflects the dynamic community spirit of the whole village. This is a progressive village and the church is seen by everyone, even non-church goers, as central to village life.
1st Sunday 6pm Evening Prayer
2nd Sunday 9.30am Holy Communion
3rd Sunday 10.15 Morning Prayer/Communion Spirit (alternative months)
4th Sunday 8.30 Holy Communion
Coffee Morning/Bring and Buy: Coffee and a natter in at the Church on the 1st Tuesday of the month, 10.30