Bucks parish celebrates 800th birthday

(L-R) Warden Miles Young, Dean Rev. Erica Longfellow, Rector of Radclive-cum-Chackmore Rev. Will Pearson-Gee, Bishop of Buckingham Rt. Rev. Alan Wilson, Bishops Chaplain Dr. Rupert Bursell, Churchwarden of Radclive-cum-Chackmore Dr. Jeremy Howarth and Mr Mark Wright
(L-R) Warden Miles Young, Dean Rev. Erica Longfellow, Rector of Radclive-cum-Chackmore Rev. Will Pearson-Gee, Bishop of Buckingham Rt. Rev. Alan Wilson, Bishops Chaplain Dr. Rupert Bursell, Churchwarden of Radclive-cum-Chackmore Dr. Jeremy Howarth and Mr Mark Wright

The parish of Radclive-cum-Chackmore near Buckingham celebrated its 800th Anniversary on Sunday 3 November.

The parish, defined by when a village (or in this case two villages) gains its own rector, came into being in 1219, during the reign of Henry III of the House of Plantagenet. 1219 was also famous for deadly floods in The Netherlands and the Fifth Crusade to reacquire Jerusalem the powerful Ayyubid state in Egypt.

Lunch in the Parish Hall

Lunch in the Parish Hall

The occasion was celebrated at St. John the Evangelist church in Radclive, which remarkably predates the parish by almost two decades, with records showing it was built at least in part in around 1200.

The church service was held in the presence of the Bishop of Buckingham, the Warden of New College, Oxford, the Dean of New College and music scholars, Filippo Turkheimer and Hamish Fraser, who performed a solos.

The event attracted almost 100 attendees meaning the church was at full capacity. Afterwards a lunch took place in the Parish Hall where items relating to the 800th anniversary were on display, including some from the archives of New College.

The church warden in Radclive, Jeremy Howarth, told us that parishioners were really excited about the anniversary. He said:

“You can imagine as a parish that has two villages, we don't always do things as one, but this was truly a parish event with the two parts of the parish coming together.”

Notably, it was also the first time that the Warden of New College, the parish's patron, had attended a function in the parish since Warden William Archibald Spooner came in 1908. He became famous for 'Spoonerisms' - the switching of the first letters of key words in a sentence, such that 'down on the train' would become 'town on the drain'.