St Andrew's Church

Our Rector, David Painter

The Bishop of Peterborough has asked The Venerable David Painter to take responsibility for the ongoing worship in each of the churches of the Spencer Benefice and to be a pastor and spiritual leader to the community. Since last November David has been assisting Revd. Kipling in the parishes of the Benefice. Sue has now retired.

David was born and brought up in Devon, though most of his adult life was spent in London. For eleven years he was vicar of a large post-war housing estate parish in south-west London, and then served as the Director of Ordinands in the Diocese of Southwark.

In January 2000 he came to the Diocese of Peterborough as Archdeacon of Oakham, with an area of responsibility which included the County of Rutland, East Northamptonshire and the City of Peterborough itself. He retired from full time ministry at the end of 2011, at which point he moved to his present home in Towcester. We consider ourselves to be very lucky to have the services of The Venerable Painter and heartily welcome him to Harlestone and the Spencer Benefice.

David can be contacted on 01327 438392, 07976 687059 or 01604 770402 and by email on

The Rectory, Main St., Great Brington, Northampton. NN7 4JB.

Some interesting facts about our church...

St Andrews church, built of locally quarried stone, is mentioned in the Doomsday Book. church entranceThe tower dates back to the 12th century and the nave and chancel were built in the 14th century. The church has therefore seen over 800 years of worship.

The distinctive font dates from the thirteenth century. and was sensitively restored during Victoria's reign. Other 19th century improvements included the addition of the clerestory and a new east window, commemorating Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee.


The pulpit is formed of fine carved wooden panels, reputedly from Fotheringhay Castle. The tower has a fine peal of six bells, the largest of which - the tenor, weighs one tonne.

The church is open to visitors during the day every Friday during the months of April to October inclusive.

Recent restoration and future plans
Over the past decade the tower and crypt have been repaired, the nave roof fully restored, new lighting fitted, the locally made pipe organ overhauled and a sound system fitted. The flag pole has been renewed and the lychgate restored.

The reorganisation of the rear of the church was completed early in 2016. Some pews were removed and a toilet and servery were installed. It is in keeping with the look of the rest of the church, has opened up a space for baptisms (the font now takes centre stage) and socialising.

The roof and all the metal work is treated with Smart Water unique identifaction marks and a roof alarm has been installed.

The next major project is to restore the windows and stonework surrounding them. The cost for this work was estimated at £68,000 in 2010 so will now be closer to £100,000. Much fundraising and application for grants will be required to raise such an amount of money but the PCC is confident it can be done."

Fund raising and running costs
Annual Church running costs of £14,000 are privately funded with no government grant thus if you would like to help support a living church in the community, please consider a regular contribution by Direct Debit (however modest) to Church Funds.

Another simple way to make sure the church is there for you when you need it (baptisms, weddings, funerals, even if you are not a regular worshipper) is to leave a legacy in your will. For more information on how to support the church contact Churchwarden Liz Ashton Davies

A small group of people work hard to hold fundraising events throughout the year. We typically have a Christmas Fayre and Spring Fayre and participate in the Ride and Stride every September. We also have raffles, afternoon teas in the summer months, harvest festival weekend and we introduced a Vintage Afternoon Tea and Tea Dance this February. Anyone wishing to help organise or join in with these events is most welcome.

Churchyard maintenance and enhancement
The well kept churchyard is regularly mowed at Parish Council expense and is still in use. Its features include the village War Memorial and many fine monuments. Particularly notable is the altar tomb of James Whiting, displaying stone masons' and freemasons' symbols.

A section of the churchyard is reserved for the conservation of'native plants, and there is a bee and butterfly garden at the north east corner of the church.

Services and events Schedules at St Andrews 2017

The Venerable David Painter is introducing a new service schedule pattern for the Spencer Benefice

This means that the services for Harlestone are:

1st Sunday: Benefice service (in turn in each church in Benefice)

2nd Sunday: 9.15 Eucharist

3rd Sunday: depends on availability of a ley preacher

4th Sunday: 11am Worship for All

5th Sunday: To be confirmed – individually styled services for whole Benefice



Sunday 3rd Sept: 11am Benefice Eucharist at Whilton (Refreshments from 10.30am)

Sunday 10th Sept: 9.15 Eucharist

Sunday 17th Sept:

Sunday 27th Sept: 11am Worship for All


Sunday 1st Oct: 11am Benefice Eucharist: Brampton (Refreshments from 10.30am)

Sunday 8th Oct: 9.15 Eucharist

Sunday 15th Oct:

Sunday 22nd Oct: 11am Worship for All Harvest Festival Service followed by Harvest Lunch

Sunday 29th Oct: Benefice service – details to be confirmed

The church will be open for teas and cakes every Sunday afternoon in July, August and September.

The church is also open every Friday from April to October between about 9.30am and 3pm inclusive for anyone who wishes to visit and / or spend quiet time of reflection.