St Leonard's Church, Semley

Semley Church

A parish church has stood in Semley since Norman times. However the present church is Victorian. The remnants from the older buildings are the Norman font and a thirteenth century effigy of a priest, which are both situated close to the north door. The rebuilding of the church was begun in 1866 by the then Rector of Semley. He took down the old chancel and built a new one entirely at his own expense. The rest of the building was demolished in 1874 and was rebuilt around the new chancel in Perpendicular style. The Church contains some fine stained glass; this includes a spectacular window in the Lady Chapel designed by Henry Haig in memory of WPC Yvonne Fletcher who was tragically shot while on duty at the Libyan Embassy in St James Square, London and died on the 17th April 1984.

The tower is a prominent feature with a small spire in the northwest corner. There is a fine set of 6 bells (one of the heaviest rings in the country) which are in good working order.

Sunday Services

The normal monthly pattern of Sunday services in the Church is as follows:

  • First Sunday of the month: Sung Eucharist at 9.30 am
  • Second Sunday of the month: Family Service at 9.30 am
  • Third Sunday of the month: Evening Prayer at 6.00 pm
  • Fourth Sunday of the month: BCP Sung Eucharist at 11.00 am

The dates and times of forthcoming services in the church can be found in the right-hand margin of this page, and on the Calendar page of this web site.

How to find the Church

For information on how the find the Church, click here.


Christmas Eve 2020 Carol Service - St Leonard’s Church, Semley

CandlesThe Semley Christmas Eve Carol Service will take place this year and will start at 6.00 pm. However, it will not be open to all-comers. Sadly, we will not be able to open our doors this year to our usual congregation of around 350!

The service will take place in church and will be open to a congregation but limited to around 70 people in order to maintain social distancing. It will also be broadcast on Zoom. If you would like to come to the Christmas Eve service, please email with the number in your party. (Note: see update below). To send me an email, click here and when the new page opens, click on the ‘Contact Form’ tab to send me your message.

Seating will be allocated on a first come first served basis and ‘family bubbles’ are particularly encouraged in order to make best use of the space available.

Further details will be published on the weekly Benefice news sheets and the church noticeboard.

Important Update - 17 December 2020

Christmas Eve - All available seats for the Semley Christmas Eve service have now been allocated. Please do not come to the church that evening unless you have received confirmation that seats have been reserved for you. Instead please join the service via Zoom: Meeting ID: 832 2316 1580 Password: A9494L

Christmas Morning – A few seats remain for the 9.30am Sung Eucharist, so if you wish to attend please contact me as soon as possible. See above for details on how to send me a message from this website.

Service Sheet if you are joining the Carol Service on Zoom, you can download and/or print a copy of the service sheet here.

Andrew Oatts


Semley Parish Giving Scheme

pound signs sIt is now a year since The Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) was launched in Semley and the PCC wishes to thank all those who have signed up for the scheme. The generosity of new donors and those who have increased their level of giving on changing to the new scheme is particularly appreciated. The initiative has already resulted in increased regular donations to St Leonard’s Church and we hope that others will join the scheme or change to it from donating by standing order. It will never be too late to do so and if you have mislaid the paperwork distributed last September replacements are available from Andrew Oatts. Alternatively, you can now join the scheme by submitting your details by phone, for which you will need our parish code: 340634399. Full details about the scheme and how to join are available here.

As we continue to feel the effects of coronavirus restrictions, including limited numbers in church and the cancellation of fundraising events, church income continues to fall yet our overheads are unchanged. However, St Leonard’s Church remains open every Wednesday and Sunday as a quiet place for prayer or contemplation in difficult times, and our clergy and lay volunteers continue to work hard to maintain our regular services of Sunday worship. Please remember that whilst your church continues to be here for the community, it also relies on that community to support it. Thank you.