All Saints church was consecrated in 1862, a time which arguably marks the birth of the community of Fleet. Fleet was initially in the ecclesiastical diocese of Winchester but became part of the diocese of Guildford in 1927 when the diocese was formed.
Charles Edward Lefroy (1810-1861) laid the foundation stone of All Saints church in 1860 in memory of his wife, Janet, who had died in 1857, but he didn’t live to see the church consecrated in 1862.
The architect William Burges (1827-81) was known for his love of the Gothic style and he loved strong geometric shapes and symbolic decoration. Other examples of his work include the church at Studley Royal, Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch.
For more details on the history of All Saints Church please contact our Parish Office to buy a copy of one of our booklets or download some snippets in the form of the All Saints Church fact file produced for the 2014 Heritage Weekend.
What have we raised so far: £514,000
Target is: £985,000
Memories, Prayers & Hopes
My husband and I came to fleet in 1965 and All saints has been our spiritual home ever since. We have both spent our lives as part of the wonderful church community and we know that we are a strong and united group of people who will rebuild this lovely church, we will be strengthened in our determination to leave something special for our future generations and we are so fortunate to have Mark our vicar to lead us at this difficult time. Our Monday to Friday 10am to 12.30 coffee bar will reopen on Monday 29 June and we would love you to come and share your special memories with us. Our monthly midweek lunch on Thursday 2nd July will go ahead but Roy Woodhams and Martha will now be performing in St Nicholas Cranleigh, next Sunday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you but as others have said with the Lord’s help you will persevere, find some temporary place to worship or join some other Christians and see the right way ahead with regard to repairing/rebuilding but of course it will take time. At least no injuries or worse to people unlike our fellow Christians in Charleston USA who have been demonstrating the grace of Christ’s forgiveness after their Pastor and 6 church members were killed.. Church buildings are only buildings even if useful and with historical and architectural value particularly as they get older. We are celebrating the 800th anniversary of ours in Bucks this year.
My parents moved to Fleet in 1946 and their ashes were interred after their deaths in 2000 and 2006 and I and my two older sisters have fond memories of our childhood in Fleet and at All Saints straddling several Vicars, Jocelyn Grundy being the last who died recently. One of my sisters (Carolyn) and her husband lived in Fleet where her children also grew up. It looks as though the words over the arch leading to the chancel have been burnt or obliterated but their truth remains, namely, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty”. May we all look to Him, holy yet forgiving, and to Jesus our living Saviour and Lord and Head of the church being the international Christian family.
My family and I are totally devastated hearing the news of the terrible fire, and seeing the photos of the destruction. I was a member of the church family from when I moved to Fleet at the age of 5 until I moved away after I married. I attended the Sunday School, sang in the choir, was a Sunday School teacher, got married there, taught at All Saints Junior School, and had my first daughter baptized there. My brothers also sang in the choir, and my parents are still stalwart members of the Church heavily involved in Parish Life. It is so heartbreaking to see the Church building so damaged, and know that the interior painting, woodwork, furniture and artifacts are lost. However, I know that a church consists of more than just buildings and things, and that the congregation of All Saints and the community of Fleet will rebuild and repair, and that the good work of The Lord will prevail. I pray for strength for that, wisdom to make the right decisions, light for the dark, difficult days ahead and love and forgiveness for the individual(s) involved in the act of destruction. God Bless you all, our love and prayers are with you. xx
We at Hart Voices rehearse in the church hall and have used the church for many of our concerts. We are devastated to learn of the destruction of this beautiful and moving building. We feel we have lost an old friend. I’m sure some good will eventually come of this, but it’s hard to imagine at the moment.
So upset to hear of the destruction of the church. It held a special place in the hearts of my family, I was Christened there in 1960, married there in 1982, my first child Christened there in 1987 and my sister married, my nephew Christened and my father’s funeral service was also held there. So so sad.
My husbands family have lived in Fleet for generations, many of whom were married and christened at All Saints church. His great Grandfather, a stone mason, made the font! Sadly his great Aunt passed away yesterday (the same day as the fire), she lived much of her life in a bungalow where Sunrise Nursing Home now stands and was a regular attendee at the church.
Utterly devestated by the destruction. Although I’m not a regular attendee of the services I used to enjoy the peace and tranquility and the open door policy that the church offered. As a keen photographer I have a wonderful bank of quiet solitude images of the interior. These now contrast with the stark shell that is left and make a very poignant statement.
When we first moved to Church Crookham 13 years ago we spent our first Christmas at All Saints – a very special service!. It was a beautiful church and we are really shocked and saddened to see it in such an awful state. I pray that it can be re-built. Love and prayers x
I have been fortunate enough in the past to have been invited to give organ recitals in All Saints and to have been allowed to practise on the lovely organ as and when. If musical events are arranged as fund raisers, I should be pleased to contribute. My thoughts and prayers are with you all as you weather this setback and prepare to plan the future of the church.
I was married there Christmas 2006. My family loved the building and the service from Roy Woodhams. My 2 young sons were both christened there too. It’s devastating to see such a beautiful, historic building destroyed but we are strong. Fleet will, as always, come together and make the best of this. Love and prayers Ange xxx
Dear friends. We have been following the news of the terrible fire in All Saints Church. Thank you to Jennette Wickes for letting us know about it. We are both devastated, both at the loss of such a beautiful building, but also for all of you who are so closely involved with the church there. We are weeping tears of grief for you all and share the terrible pain you must all be feeling right now. We may not be great at keeping in touch regularly, but rest assured you are always very much in our hearts . Our 6 years in Fleet were probably the happiest years of our life, and the people in All Saints and P&J will always be very dear to us. To think of you all having to deal with this dreadful tragedy makes us want to get in the car and drive over to Fleet to be with you all. Sadly that is not possible right now, but be sure that you are very much in our prayers. Hoping to see you very soon though. Yours with heartfelt affection and prayers. Jan & Peter x
ps. a little thought which has sustained me through many difficult times:
“Nothing is ever wasted within the economy of God”.
Time and again I have found this to be true, and I’m sure you will too in the months and years to come. Jan
I remember being very impressed by the stained glass windows when I first went into the church in 1952 when I was 5! I remember Sunday School led by Mrs Waite and Sister Barham. I have lots of memories of services, some led by my father John Evans. Recently I have attended a few services and concerts in the church because my youngest brother now lives in Fleet. You are in my prayers as you plan for the future.
So sad about this dreadful fire. My children Amy (23) & Ashleigh (17) were christened in All Saints. The pictures at the font adorn my house in Hook. It must be returned to its former glory.
I was shocked and saddened to hear of the fire at All Saints and to see the photographs. I was struck by the photograph of the interior, where the font still stands in the midst of the devastation, with the cross clearly visible. This seems poignantly symbolic. Jesus said he would build his church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Nothing can destroy the power of the cross of Jesus to bring healing in any situation. I pray for strength and healing for the church family as you rebuild. I was greatly privileged to take the funeral of my dear sister Anne Parker-Ashley at All Saints in October 2011. Whilst the roof may have been burned, my lasting memory will be of the Hallelujah Chorus played at full volume, raising the roof in tribute to Anne’s life and to the glory of God, as the service ended.
From F.H. Browne & Son’s (Organ Builders) Ltd, Canterbury. We were all shocked & deeply saddened by the news of the devastating fire at All Saint’s in Fleet. During both routine tuning & maintenance, and also the longer organ restoration contracts, we get to know both a building and the folk who cherish the sacred space, and worship within its doors. We are all caretakers & guardians of the wonderful heritage that constitute both religious, social and political history within our Parish
Churches. All Saints in Fleet deserves to ‘rise from the ashes’; to inspire generations to come and to be a witness to the past. Let us pray to God that this will happen.
I have so many happy memories of my time as a member of the church at All Saints – in particular singing in the choir; being involved with the Junior Church; my godson Harry’s baptism and my friend Malcolm’s wedding. It was with immense sadness and shock that I heard the news yesterday. My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time. You are an amazing community and I know that our awesome God is with you and is pouring out his love and comfort on you all at this time. With much love, Liz xx
For three generations this was our church and my grandmother was buried there in 1921 when my mother was 2. My mother and her 3 children were all baptised, confirmed by the Bishop and we were all married there. The church is its people and no doubt the church building will rise from the ashes and be stronger than ever. God please help those who are so distressed by this disaster.
I was very shocked to see the news tonight, and feel for you all. I know I would be devastated if our church was damaged, especially if it was done deliberately. Your loss is our loss too, and you are held in my prayers.
My father was a chorister at All Saints and had a chair dedicated to his memory. I was married there in 1966 by Canon Colin Deedes, my two sons were christened there and my parents had their funerals there. So many memories, such a sad loss, a unique Victorian church.
As a family we worshipped in All Saints for 23years where my wife, son and daughter sang in the choir. We are all utterly devastated at the news. It was our second home but the shell is still there and we know that in time the church will be rebuilt with God’s help and guidance. All the clergy and congregation are in our thoughts and prayers at this time. Bill, Linda Wood and Family
Hello – I came here after reading about the incident on the Telegraph website. Wanton destruction of a beautiful building and place of worship. God bless.
Lived in Fleet for 21 years from 1964. I was surprised how upset I was when I read this terribly sad news. Like others on here I sang in the choir, got confirmed, got married, had my daughter christened and also my father’s burial service at this church. Also attended many friend’s weddings. I sincerely hope it can be rebuilt. Elizabeth Richards (Taylor).
I was utterly devestated on Monday when hearing and seeing what happened. I have lived in Fleet all my life I went to All Saints School so visited the church a lot I was christened in All Saints church, got married there on 23 June 2001 and both my children were Christened there too! My second child was born in 2007 with Down Syndrome and the church congregation at the time played a massive part in our lives by praying for him as he was a very poorly boy and had to undergo open heart surgery! This ignited my Faith and there is no doubt in my mind that they were life saving prayers! I want to thank you for being an amazing church family. Sending love and prayers.