The Church

The present Grade II* listed building is the third church on the site, replacing a modest chapel which had in its turn replaced one dating back to 1458.
In 1857 the Reverend Henry Worsley, wealthy and dynamic, became the new incumbent. He decided that a more impressive structure was needed. With the help of Lord Churchill, he acquired more land for this purpose. The new church was consecrated by the Bishop of Oxford in 1860.

The Spire

The spire dominates the exterior of the church. Originally it rose to over 145 feet, but the damage caused by the severe winter of 1864 meant that it had to be shortened. During extensive repair in 1934 it had to be shortened again. This has given it a distinctive shape. Perched on its windy ridge, it may be seen against the skyline for miles around, a landmark of Christianity.

The Interior

The austerity of the interior is softened by naturalistic stone carving on the capitals, reflecting the wild flowers and horse chestnut trees found nearby.
Mrs Worsley painted texts on metal scrolls that decorate the arches. The Rev James Gibb, who became vicar in 1870, was a talented artist who painted the chancel ceiling, some of the plasterwork and the organ pipes.
The fine Nicholson organ has been restored in recent years by the same firm that constructed it. The east window is original, made by Wales & Strang of Newcastle-on-Tyne.

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St Michael's Church - Leafield - Oxfordshire - OX29 9PG