The Church

  • St John the Baptist, Kingston Lisle

Update 24th March 2020

In line with Government Covid-19 instructions, church services are suspended until further notice.

We will keep this under review and re-open as soon as Government instructions allow.

The church remains open for personal prayer and reflection (but stay 3m apart if there is a rush!)   It’s worth remembering that the Church survived The Black Death (1300’s) The Plague (1600’s) and Spanish Flu (1900’s) and I’m sure it can survive this too.

Please join us at our newly-restored church at 10am on the first Sunday of the month

Our 12th Century church was put on English Heritage’s “Heritage At Risk” register in 2014 and we’ve undertaken an extensive restoration costing £400,000. Beginning with urgent repairs to the roof, timbers and walls, we’ve re-rendered the exterior, put in new heating and lighting, conserved the 14th Century wall paintings, redecorated the interior, improved the seating and flooring, and restored the 15th-17th Century woodwork. We’ll be installing a new bespoke pipe organ as the final stage of the process in mid-2018. The restoration will safeguard the building’s structure for generations to come, transform it for our growing congregation and other visitors from near and far, and enhance its position at the centre of our community.

We’ve been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Churches Trust, Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust and 19 other local and national charitable trusts. Adding donations within the village, the proceeds from four concerts, two pub quiz evenings, a literary event celebrating the bicentenary of Waterloo and our international “sponsor a tile” and “sponsor a pipe” programmes, plus VAT and Gift Aid rebates, we’re within £8,000 of our fundraising target. To hear more about any aspect of the project, please contact Arthur Marment, one of our churchwardens.

The project featured on BBC Radio Oxford following the award of our grant from the National Churches Trust. We were one of only 30 successful churches out of 700 applications nationally, and the only one in Oxfordshire. We were subsequently chosen to headline the NCT’s annual fundraising campaign. Visit the National Churches Trust website to see our project highlighted. We also featured in a Telegraph Online discussion about rural church closures following a front page piece in the print edition: you can read it here. . We helped the Heritage Lottery Fund evaluate its Grants for Places of Worship scheme, we recorded a webinar for the Heritage Alliance and we presented to the committee responsible for The Taylor Review, into sustaining England’s 16,000 churches and cathedrals.

We hold services at 10am on the first Sunday of the month, as well as Christmas and Easter services when the Kingston Lisle Festival Choir performs to a packed church. Our services last for less than an hour and are celebrated by our Rector, the Revd Leonora Hill. All ages are most welcome. We’re also holding an increasing number of baptisms, weddings and funerals. We look forward to welcoming you into our congregation, which has recently grown to its highest numbers in at least 30 years. In July 2017, we held our first concert in the church in living memory, given by the choral octet Nisi Usquam Oxonia. We plan further concerts including organ recitals when our new organ is installed.

For further information please contact:

Revd Leonora Hill (Rector)
01235 760112

Arthur Marment (Churchwarden)
07791 250218


Recent Events

Thank you to everyone who attended the sellout choral concert at the church on Saturday 29 July 2019.  Usquam Nisi Oxonia took us on a marvellous choral journey through time and space including works by Monteverdi, Byrd, Elgar, Pearsall, Bruckner and Parry.  The concert ended with Summertime (ironically as it rained all evening) by Gershwin and Blue Moon by Richard Rogers.  All who attended were grateful to the young performers drawn from graduates and undergraduates at Cambridge and Durham Universities (i.e. “Anywhere but Oxford !)

It was great to see so many from the village getting together and a tidy sum was raised to put towards a new organ in the church.

The talented performers at St John the Baptist, Kingston Lisle
The talented performers at St John the Baptist, Kingston Lisle

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