More about St Denys
Who is St Denys?
St Denys is the patron saint of France, having been Bishop of Paris in the third century.
He was beheaded at Montmartre but legend has it that afterwards his body picked up his head
and carried it several miles, preaching all the way!
He became a popular saint around the twelfth century in England
where about 40 churches are named after him.
Where we have come from
The building of the present church began around the year 1200 and was dedicated
on 9th October 1219 by the Bishop of Lincoln. The South Aisle was added at the beginning of the
14th Century and the North Aisle was built in 1340. The chancel had to be
rebuilt in 1867 as a result of years of neglect. In 1957-58 the Clergy and Choir Vestries were built with access from a door in the South Aisle which had been blocked up since 1840.
The tower and spire are the only parts that remain of the original church.
The font is early 13th Century and has stood in the church for over seven and a half centuries.
It is cylindrical or tub shaped and its design is of late 11th or early 12th Century Norman origin.
The cover is modern but there are signs on the rim of the font of the original staples which locked the medieval cover in position to prevent the theft of holy water.
There were originally four bells, the earliest being dated 1605. In 1990 the old wooden bell frame was replaced with a steel one and a new bell was given by a former churchwarden in memory of his wife.
In 1994 a further bell was added to commemorate the 775th Anniversary of the church.
The largest bell (the tenor) weighs just over 16 hundredweight.
The churchyard is now closed for burials apart from where there is space in family graves.
Dr Cyril Bardsley, the first bishop of the Diocese of Leicester when it was re-founded in 1926, is buried here.
In 2006 we commissioned a new altar for the side chapel which was made by a
local craftsman. It has castors underneath so it can be moved and used as a nave altar.
The altar was given in memory of a former churchwarden and the mother of
another church member.
A new digital organ was also installed in 2006 to replace the previous pipe organ which was too costly to repair and
the manufacturers had gone out of business.
The new Makin organ console is in the same position as the old one. The speakers are in specially made cabinets
situated at the back of the church next to the original pipes of the old organ.
In 2008 the oak doors at the north entrance were replaced with glass ones.
The oak doors were rehung at the porch entrance, replacing the wooden gates.
In 2010 the font was moved to the front of the north aisle and the pews in the
rear part of the church were removed.
A children’s corner was established in the south west corner and a welcome area
in the north west corner. Cupboards were fitted in both corners.
The areas were carpeted and new chairs purchased.
The church is blessed with a large number of kneelers, which were embroidered by a team of tapissiers from 1976 to 1999. Details can be viewed here St Denys Kneelers