All Saints, Laxton
Welcome to All Saints, Laxton.
We are a welcoming and inclusive community, open to all.
Our church is a Grade II* listed building dedicated to All Saints and was comprehensively restored in 1867 by the then Lord Carbery who was himself a skilled artisan. There are a number of examples of his work in and on the church. The church building is considered to be in good condition. There is an unusual organ built by George Maydwell Holditch. There are other examples of Holditch's work elsewhere in churches within the benefice.
Although our church-going population is small, we have until Covid hit us, managed to pay our Adjusted Parish Share in full. We have achieved this as a result of all regular church-goers transferring to the new regular giving scheme, together with a number of separate fund-raising events. Regular fundraising activities include an inter-village cricket match with barbeque, Ride and Stride, church concerts and in the recent past, “Teas on the Green”. Unfortunately, this last activity has been somewhat curtailed because of insufficient volunteers to take on the responsibility for running it. Laxton residents outside the regular church-going community participate fully in things like churchyard and village green mowing which means we do not have to pay contractors to undertake this work. We get good attendance at special church services such as Easter, Harvest Festival, Patronal Festival, Carol service and Christmas day. Our friendly Roman Catholic colleagues support us well at many of these occasions.
Laxton is by some margin, the smallest parish in the benefice. It is a conservation village and there has been no new building for at least 30 years. All new dwellings are either barn conversions or replacements for older houses. It is unlikely that we shall see any growth in the population in the foreseeable future.
Our church-going population has fallen steadily in the past 20 years because of deaths and movements away from the village. Some newer arrivals have no emotional attachment to either the church or to the community in general. We see this as key obstacle to the good health of the village.
Two attempts at stealing lead from the church roof were attempted in 2016, one of which resulted in the loss of lead from the south aisle which was replaced with stainless steel. The other attempt was on the north aisle and was unsuccessful. There is now an unmonitored roof alarm on it.
No fundraising events have been possible since the onset of Covid, apart from the honourable exception of Ride and Stride. A Village Appeal for help in fundraising is in progress.
The village and community
Laxton is a small, attractive stone-built village of around 50 households of which there are about 35 in the village itself, 8 in Upper Laxton, 5 on the main road, including two farms and a couple more farms closer to the edge of the village.
It is just off the main A43 road between Stamford and Kettering and is basically a single road through the village, with a small community called Upper Laxton at the end of a track leading from the centre of the village.
Laxton was once an estate village owned by the Lords Carbery of Laxton Hall. Humphrey Repton, the noted Georgian landscape architect, was closely involved in the design of the hall and the older properties in the village. In the 1920s the estate was broken up and all the properties sold off. There is a Polish Old People's Home run by a Roman Catholic order of Polish nuns. It is based at Laxton Hall and mainly in view of its remote location there is little contact with the main village.
A new village hall caters for the needs of the village. Its well-supported programme features coffee mornings, film nights, book club, keep fit, Pilates, barbeques, etc. There is a flourishing cricket team which plays at the very attractive, privately owned Laxton Park cricket ground.
The community is a mixed one, but comprises for the most part elderly retired and young professional people with growing families. There are a small but not insignificant number of artists producing mainly painting, printmaking, woodcuts and ceramics. Many of the professionals are in the finance and investment industry. The residents of Upper Laxton are descendents of Roman Catholic families who moved to the area in the 1930s. They came in search of a rural life away from the destitution that resulted from the inter-war depression. They worship at Laxton Hall with the nuns.