If you have driven westwards along the A45 in the evening, past Knightlow Hill towards Coventry, you may well have seen the Church of St Leonard, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, silhouetted against the skyline.
You might have first noticed the square, 15th century tower. However, the red sandstone nave and chancel are very much older, dating from 1080 AD. St Leonard’s is one of the oldest Norman churches in Warwickshire. It was built on woodland given to the Coventry Priory in 1043 by Lord Leofric (husband of Lady Godiva), some of which remains today.
The main entrance to the church is on the south wall, through a fine, early Norman doorway. Inside, there is a 12th century lancet window and examples of late 15th Century carved tracery-headed panels on the choir stalls. The altar rails are 17th century turned oak.
There is a friendly, active and welcoming congregation at St Leonards with a regular pattern of services on offer throughout each month. There is a 9.30am service almost every Sunday which includes Sunday School or special activities for children (5th Sundays are the tricky ones!) with opportunities to meet and chat over a cup of tea or coffee afterwards. We have a wide variety of Services to choose from, such as sung Eucharist, very informal Village Worship and Evensong. Full details about the services.
There are regular opportunities for singing, bell ringing, and gardening to which new people are always welcome to. There is also a Luncheon Club which meets each month in the Church Centre and provides a hot meal for senior citizens. Twirls (WI Lite group) and Youth Club also meet in the Church Centre.
More details about any of the above activities can be found here.
The church is a wonderful asset for the village community, but have you ever wondered who pays for its upkeep? Rev David Wintle provides an interesting insight into the annual running costs of the church which helps to explain why fundraising is such an important part of church and village life, not least of which is the annual church fête.