St Giles Church - Horsted Keynes

Rector`s Page


Dear Friends


Saint Giles has a Saint in the Churchyard. It has a Prime Minister too – Harold Macmillan – but Archbishop Robert Leighton buried there 1684 and commemorated 26th June in the church calendar has first place. To mark a focus on Leighton in 2015 his tomb and wall plaque have been cleaned by J Gumbrill through a donation.


Called affectionately “The little bishop” he devoted the last decade of his life to praying, preaching and visiting the poor and sick of Horsted Keynes having spent forty years carrying the torch of peaceable Christian faith during tumultuous times which saw both the loss and restoration of kings and bishops.    


Believe, and you shall love, he wrote. Believe much, and you shall love much. Robert Leighton’s deep rooting in Christ gave him love to help deal with church divisions in the Scotland of his day where he served as Presbyterian minister and afterwards as Anglican Bishop in Dunblane, where his library is still used, and Archbishop of Glasgow, before retiring to live with his sister  Sapphira at Broadhurst Manor.


Seek Jesus, fear not, you will certainly find him Leighton wrote and in him all things. He described Christian life as ‘angelic’ spent between ascending in prayer to fetch blessings from above and descending to scatter them amongst those in need of help and consolation below. To Leighton prayer looks to God as the most faithful and powerful friend, the richest and most loving father.


We thank God for ‘the little Bishop of Horsted Keynes’ who will be focus of our Lent course and ask him to raise up for our own tumultuous age such peaceable servants of truth and holiness.


Father John


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