Article by Carol Gibson first published in Church and Village News, November 2022

Flamstead has had a great deal of press coverage recently due to the wonderful news that St Leonard’s church has been officially removed from the ‘Heritage at Risk’ register which is managed by Historic England. The register gives an annual snapshot of the critical health of England’s most valued historic places and those most at risk of being lost as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development. Following the hard work of so many villagers which helped achieve the generous grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the work to restore the dangerous roof is complete and the 900 year old church looks set for the next century. The work has crucially also saved the rare wall paintings from deteriorating.

The East of England regional director of Historic England, Tony Calladine commented that it’s central to their mission to pass on to future generations the rich legacy of historic buildings and places that we have inherited from previous generations. He added, “They tell the story of who we all are, they enrich our day to day lives and support sustainable growth and we are coming to see how they can help in our struggle with climate change.”

James Mellish, National Lottery Heritage Fund project manager for the Flamstead Heritage Group said; “It’s wonderful news that the hard work of the village community has saved this beautiful church. There was a real prospect it would have to close because of the dangerous state of the roof. Now it’s secure for future generations.”

Flamstead’s vicar, Revd Jo Burke, said, “ St Leonard’s had been given a fresh start. We have been steadily building on this to share our church as a building for everyone. We are delighted at the strong village response, which we see both in the increasing use of the church for community activities and special events and in the growing worshipping community.”

Among the press coverage which the news received was a BBC online article and pieces in the Herts Advertiser, Herts Mercury and Hemel Today. See the links below