Church Matters

There are three churches in our area corresponding to three of our four villages and they are all part of the Hill Top benefice. At this time we are in interregnum and are seeking a new Rector.

  • St Mary’s in Hawridge — Victorian brick interior and Norman Font. St Mary’s Parish Church is a little flint-and-brick building rebuilt in 1856. It has a Norman font preserved from the earlier building. There is a stained glass window by Tony Griffen, a village artist with international fame.


  • St Laurence in Cholesbury — A flint built church situated in an Iron Age Fort. This is on an ancient foundation but the church fell down in 1870 and was almost entirely rebuilt. The stained glass dates from 1873 and is by William Pepper. There is a delightful Bates organ benefitting from the building’s good acoustics. Our small country church is favoured for small weddings.


  • St Leonard’s in St Leonards — Whitewashed church and with modern churchroom. The parish church of St Leonards was erected in the 15th century on the site of a cell of Missenden Abbey. It was rebuilt by General Cornelius Wood in Queen Victoria’s reign. Restored in 1845. It contains two 18th century wall monuments carved in chalk. The bell in the spired bell turret records “chandler made me 1702“.



The three churches offer modern and traditional styles of worship and services are frequently shared.

Week in monthChurchService
1st Sunday9:30 am HawridgeFamily Service
9:30 am CholesburyHoly Communion using BCP
11 am St LeonardsParish Communion using CW
2nd Sunday10 am CholesburyMorning Worship based on CW
A three parish shared service hosted every month at Cholesbury
3rd Sunday10 am Parish Communion using CW
A three parish shared service hosted at each church by rotation
4th Sunday9 am St Leonards Breakfast Service
Breakfast in the Churchroom followed by a short informal service with hymns in the church
11 am HawridgeParish Communion using CW
5th Sunday10 am Parish Communion using CW
This service four times a year rotates round the three Hill Top churches plus St John the Baptist in The Lee

Occasions such as the Good Friday “Walk of Witness” and Ascension Day are also shared but before Christmas each church has individual Carol celebrations with packed churches.

Easter Walk of Witness

Family and Children

The churches welcome children at the Family Service and the popular Breakfast Service. Throughout the year we hold special events such as Mother’s Day, Pets Service and Shoebox Sunday with emphasis on children. Children are particularly appreciated at the Harvest Auction when they act as runners taking produce to buyers! Baptisms are held either during regular worship or privately.

Shoebox service
Wedding at Cholesbury

Social Occasions

Cholesbury and Hawridge share an annual Fete on August Bank Holiday Monday. The three churches hold Harvest Festivals with Supper and Auction. During the year we hold Concerts, Quizzes, Cream teas and Visits and a Treasure Hunt to raise funds.

The newly built Churchroom at St Leonards is used for a range of church and village events. There is a monthly Tea Party and occasional films; the Toddlers meet regularly and the churchroom is the venue for the Breakfast service and children’s events. Occasional Deanery events come to St Leonards and our Rector is based here for church business.

The famous pets service

Refer to your copy of the Hilltop News for details of when and where the services take place.