Beauchamp Altar Servers

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'To bring all heaven before our eyes’

describes the perfect union between Anglo-catholic ceremonial and music.  The choir school at St Leonard's provided the daily music with the ceremonial undertaken by legions of altar servers, both boys and men.  

For a small village church, St Leonard's has a staggering array of ceremonial equipment, all of the finest quality, much of which was specially commissioned.  
​​Running hand in hand with the choir school, the altar boys were in attendance for all Sunday services, Feasts & Festivals with the choir school choristers serving at the daily said eucharist. 
  
When the choir school closed in 1945 the altar boys, who all lived locally, remained and their numbers did not decline until the early 1960s.  
1946
Boat boy  1948
William Daffin & Tony Bullock
1952
George Purser, served as boy and man from 1937
Andrew Burrow, thurfier and his uncle,  Ted Bullock with the boat.  1962
David Jones, later to be knighted for services to business and charity work, was christened at St Leonard's, where, from the age of 8 years old, he served as an altar boy.

In 2014, Sir David wrote especially for the church this delightfully humorous and touching account of his time as an altar boy.


Download Sir David's
memories as an
altar boy at St Leonard's
This rare photo, from 1949, shows the Altar boys arriving for Sunday Mass on their bikes and wearing the Beauchamp Altar Boy caps. David Jones is on the right.



By 1969 the last boy had left and most of the magnificent ceremonial equipment was packed away.  Over the next few decades, only one or two adult servers, if any, were in attendance. 

Fr. Mark Dalby was appointed as Chaplain in 2000 and this marked the gradual resurgence of Anglo-Catholic ritual and ceremonial.  The use of incense was revived for major festivals, with one of the priests acting as Thurifer.

By 2006 there was one regular Sunday server, plus a thurifer when required.

In 2008, the first altar boy for almost forty years served at Midnight Mass. 
Palm Sunday 2009

2012 onwards

​​In 2011 the newly appointed Master of Ceremonies set about enlarging and re-training the serving team, which now has an enviable reputation for excellence. 

On Sundays, Feasts and Festivals the full panoply of Anglo-Catholic ceremonial and ritual has been reinstated according to the vision of our founder.
  
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Click on photo to open Slide Show
You can also watch the Altar Servers in action, as we video many of our services,   please click here.


  
To celebrate the new robes for the altar servers,  worn for the first time on Easter Day 2012, this watercolour was commissioned by the Master of Ceremonies from local artist,  Judy Fousham.  
If you are interested in joining the serving team we would be delighted to hear from you, please email  archivist@beauchampstleonard.org
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