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 (situated close to the north door) and a thirteenth century effigy of a priest (now in the Lady Chapel at the east end of the south aisle). 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 north-west corner. There is a fine set of 6 bells (one of the heaviest rings in the country) which are in good working order.
St Leonard’s achieved Bronze Eco Church status in March 2023.
- 1st Friday of the month – 11am, Friday Eucharist
- 1st Sunday of the month – 6pm, Evening Prayer
- 2nd Sunday of the month – 9:30am, Family Service
- 3rd Sunday of the month – 9:30am, Sung Eucharist
- 4th Sunday of the month – 11am, Sung BCP Holy Communion
As ever, though, make sure to check the calendar in case this pattern has been superseded by a special event.
St Leonard’s Church