Discover St Peter's Church in Church Langton, Leicestershire
Category Archives: Saving and Celebrating Our Heritage
‘Saving and Celebrating Our Heritage’ was St Peter’s first major project in 21st Century. Funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, the project incorporated major capital works to repair roofs and bring the history, nature and experience of St Peter’s Church to the wider public. Here, you can see updates, info and events relating to this project.
We have a new guide book! Something that St Peter’s has needed for a very long time! The guides were funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of our project, ‘Saving and Celebrating our Heritage’ and give fantastic detail on all aspects of St Peter’s Church, tracing the course of its 800 year history, looking at its architecture and churchyard.
Use it as you walk around to discover important features, events and people involved with this lovely building over all these years. The influence of Rev. William Hanbury and his legacy which lives on to this day – and of course, the first performance of Handel’s oratorio, ‘Messiah’ in a parish church in England, as part of a Festival of Music held regularly at that time. Laurence Saunders our priest and martyr, who died at Coventry along with Polydor Virgil, priest to St Peter’s, Chancellor to Henry VII and author of a History of England
The Project Team is particularly grateful to the ‘Interpreting the Church’ Activity Group – Rosalind Willats (former Conservation officer for Harborough District Council), Anne Abbott (East Langton), Will Poulton (West Langton) and Maxine Johnson (Church Langton) – for producing the Visitor’s Guide to St. Peter’s. We are especially grateful to Rosalind Willatts for writing the text and Anne and Will for proof reading.
On Sunday 30th June, a wonderful Service was held to celebrate the completion of work to the roof to replace the lead stolen by thieves in 2017; this being replaced with terne-coated stainless steel.
The work was made possible by a substantial grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and support from other grant bodies, fund raising and generous donations by friends, both local and further afield.
This Service also saw the launch of our Heritage Community Project, called ‘Saving and Celebrating our Heritage’ as part of the HLF stipulation for obtaining their grant.
The Service was conducted by the Revd. Martin Hathaway who has been a longstanding member of our visiting clergy team and a great friend to all of us at St Peter’s.
Villagers and invited guests were treated to a memorable time and to quote one attendee “Yesterday combined, I felt, the dignity of worship with the informality of a celebrating Church, glad to be there”.
This was followed by refreshments and socialising. The service was a wonderful way to mark the end of a long period of work following the lead thefts but celebrate the future knowing that we can resume work in a dry church, welcoming visitors and friends alike.
In 2017, like many churches throughout the UK, St Peter’s was targeted by lead thieves. They came three times, twice in June taking lead from its North Aisle roof and then in September they targeted the South Aisle roof. The PCC (Parochial Church Council) were faced with a monumental task of repairing both roofs with very limited funds, (also like many churches in the UK). The PCC made a bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and were delighted to be awarded a grant of £97,000 towards its £124,000 project called ‘Saving and Celebrating Our Heritage’.
The heritage project will not only restore the damaged Grade II* Listed Building but also ensure that heritage of the church and church yard is better interpreted and explained through education, visits by schoolchildren and a range of events to celebrate its history. Phase I of the project, the repairs to the roof, were started in 2018 and completed in 2019, with great success. The substructure of the roofs was sound and the weather was good.
We are delighted to see St Peter’s dry once more and now look forward to Phase II. Our gratitude and thanks go to all involved in the work so far and still to come.