Kington St Michael Village Website
Informing Our Community Since August 2004

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St Michael & All Angels Church

St Michael & All Angels Church, 25th July '11 

A brief outline of the history of the church which is a Grade II* listed building:

The original church here was of Norman origin.  It was substantially restored in 13th century and parts of that restored church still remain.  The porch, some of the south aisle and the chancel all date from that time.  In 1703 during a severe storm the tower and spire collapsed into the north aisle.  The tower, which now contains a peal of six bells (all dated 1726 by Abraham Rudhall, a Gloucester bell-founder), was rebuilt in 1725 and the north aisle in 1755.

The Victorians achieved another major restoration in 1857 and a great deal of this can be seen today, including the reredos behind the altar, the pulpit and the pews.  Then just as the Christmas Day service started in 1990 a freak storm blew the southeast spire of the tower over and it fell into the roof timbers of the nave, miraculously causing no serious injuries.  Thus further restoration work took place during 1991 and 1992 and the Bishop of Bristol rededicated the church on December 12th 1992.  (Click here for more information and photos and click here to see a copy of the restoration appeal folder from 1991).

The plaque below the fine east window in the south aisle which is dedicated the Archangel St. Michael tells how it was erected in memory of two more illustrious sons of the parish, John Aubrey (1625-97) and John Britton (1771-1857), both of whom were Fellows of the Royal Society and renowned Antiquarians. 

The diarist Francis Kilvert mentions the parish several times in his writings, and in the north aisle can be found a memorial plaque to his grandparents, Walter and Thermutis Coleman.

In 1985 the late journalist, Miles Kington, visited the village and in particular the church.  Click here to read his ponderings, published in The Times on 17th January 1985.

An interesting fact is that our church is only one of less than a handful in the country which has bells that are rung in an anticlockwise peal.

To view the Wiltshire On-line Parish Clerk's supplementary pages for Kington St Michael  click here.

Another interesting website to explore is compiled by Duncan & Mandy Ball and contains 229 photographs of Kington St Michael church & churchyard.  Do have a good look around it, as there are lists of those buried plus photos of gravestones.

(To read the story of St Michael, please click on the icon: Emotion

Angel Monument    Lych Gate
Angel Monument                                                         Lych Gate


The parish of Kington St. Michael falls within the Bybrook Group of Churches

For all enquiries please contact the Group Administrator, telephone (01249) 782704, e-mail:


Priest in Charge: Rev Jonathan Philpott

Churchwardens:   Colin Labouchere, tel. (01249) 750222
Janet Elms, tel. (01249) 750423

Key holders:         The churchwardens (as above)

                              Barbara Barnes, tel. (01249) 750488

                              Pam Tayler, tel. (01249) 750523

                             The church key may also be borrowed from and returned to the village shop (opposite the church) during shop opening hours.


PCC Secretary: Alison Greenhalgh

PCC Hon. Treasurer: Gerry Elms

Gift Aid: Janny Hayne



There is usually a 9.30am service in the church on a Sunday.  However, on the fourth Sunday of each month the morning service is held at 10am in a different church within the Group.  Please check the church noticeboard for up to date information or ring one of the contacts listed above.

Holy Communion is celebrated each Thursday at 9.30am.


Visitors are always most welcome at our services.


The Friends of St. Michael & All Angels (FOSMAA) welcomes new members who are interested in the future of the church building.  Contact Mrs Cilla Labouchere on (01249) 750222.

(Please scroll down for more church news and planned events)



Stained glass window showing St michael (centre panel)
The stained glass window showing
St Michael in the centre panel
(Photo courtesy of Niki Willows)




2014: Volunteers urgently needed to help keep the Churchyard mown.  The size of area will be tailored to suit time and energy.  Machines provided.  Please call Colin on (01249) 750222.  More productive and more appreciated than the gym and free!


2013:  This year’s church fete made about £1,650. Thanks go to the to the Chicco family for the use of their beautiful garden, all to our helpers and everyone who came along and supported us.




May ~ The church fete moved to May just for this year, due to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.  The total raised was approximately £1,750.



June ~ Sandwiched between a wet Friday and a soaking Sunday the church's summer fete in Kington Manor's lovely garden was blessed with sunshine.  Children enjoyed the fun in Cilla's corner, especially her rollercoaster rides, and they cheered Trumpton the tortoise on for his marathon challenge.  The Brownies' stall held plenty of interest for the youngsters too.  A fine selection of music from Chippenham Town Band lent a festive air to the occasion as people strolled around the various stalls stopping to chat to friends on the way.  Delicious cakes and welcome cups of tea afforded refreshment to queues of customers, all keen to sit and relax in the delightful surroundings. We are indebted to Mr & Mrs Chicco for inviting us in to their beautiful garden for this, the church's major fund-raiser of the year.  We anticipate a profit of about £1,850, slightly down on last year, but which will help towards the cost of insuring the church.  Thank you to all who worked so hard to put the event on and to those who generously supported it.

Church fete 11.06.11 - the tombola  Church fete 11.06.11 - the children's run
The tombola and the children's run (photos courtesy of Janet Elms)

Church Fete 11.06.11
Woodlice race area (photo courtesy of Stewart Shape)

April ~ Easter Saturday's evening of music in the church was built around the wonderfully emotive and expressive music of two of the greatest baroque composers - Johann Sebastian Bach and Henry Purcell.  The reflective nature of the first half of the concert was complemented by the more lively nature of the second half which was dominated by Purcell's Come ye Sons of Art , composed in 1694 in celebration of the birthday of Queen Mary.  The magnificent music was led by Paul Bambrough on the harpsichord in association with Helen Lewis (soprano), Stuart McSweeney (countertenor), Stephen Mills (tenor), Matthew Stone (baritone), Harry White (violin) and Kay Nagle (cello).   Colin Booth, the distinguished harpsichordist, generously made possible the use of his beautiful harpsichord for the evening's concert.  People had the opportunity to chat with  him afterwards to find out more about his skills in building such a lovely instrument.  The church is very grateful to all these artistes who gave of their time and talents to entrance a very appreciative audience and to raise money for church funds.


Colin Booth talks about his harpsichord 23.04.11
Colin Booth talks about his harpsichord, 23rd April '11


March ~ A big "thank you" to Alison Greenhalgh for giving the children's area a great spring-clean, and to her son Billy for donating some of his toys.


The children's corner
The children's corner





Church Summer Fete, 12th June 2010: Once again we were blessed with a warm sunny day as people streamed in to the lovely grounds of Kington Manor for this year's summer fete.  Chippenham Town Band provided light music to accompany brisk trade on the many stalls; children enjoyed pony rides and runs on the rollercoaster and sideshows provided by the Brownies and Acorns Pre-school, while woodlice races, skittles and tossing loo rolls into a nice new toilet provided entertainment for those with a more competitive spirit.  Two unusual visitors were Cilla's horned black sheep.  They have been trained to pull a small cart in which little children enjoyed a ride.  After doing the rounds of all the attractions it was delightful to sit on the patio and enjoy a welcome cup of tea and homemade cake.  We hope to have raised about £2,100 which will just about pay for the year's insurance of the church building.  Thank you to all who supported the event which is such a vital fundraiser.

Churchyard Wall

Repaired churchyard wall, April 2010

Those who walk along Stubbs Lane will be glad to see that the badly bulging and leaning wall, bordering the village burial ground, has now been made safe.  Mervyn Singer and his team have done an excellent job of preparing the ground and rebuilding a stretch of the stone wall and its adjoining gatepost.  It is a pleasure to see such craftsmanship.  The church is very grateful to the Parish Council for its generous donation of £1,000 towards the cost of this essential repair, to the Sunday Night Whist players for their £50 donation and to the Book & DVD Recycling Scheme for its donation of £50.


2009:   Carol service. 


Carol service in St Michael & All Angels Church, 19th December 2009


On Saturday 19th December a packed church took part in a magnificently festive traditional carol service led by Rev Sam Rushton and professional musician Paul Bambrough, with his 20 strong choir and brass ensemble.   

In flickering candlelight the Christmas message was conveyed in readings both secular and biblical, these being interspersed with familiar carols sung by the congregation and less familiar but wonderfully moving pieces of Christmas music brilliantly offered by the choir.  As the service drew to its close the rafters rang as all joined in a joyous rendering of O come, all ye faithful and Hark! The herald angels sing.  A glass of mulled wine and a warm mince pie rounded off a truly memorable service. 

Generous donations will enable the church to support the charity Caring at Christmas which provides a 24-hour shelter for the homeless in Bristol.

Church concert.  Classical music enthusiasts enjoyed a concert in the church on April 11th, when parishioner Paul Bambrough (harspichord and organ) and  fellow musicians Sylvia Harper (oboe), Harry White (violin) and Edward Furse (cello) entertained the audience with a selection of pieces.

A special treat was the premier of Two Romances for Oboe and Piano by British composer Humphrey Clucas, who was in attendance.  How nice to think that our village church has held a world premier.


Please be aware of a scam with churchgoers as the target.  Click here for more information from Wiltshire Police.


Snow covered church, 8th February 2007Churchyard in the snow 05.02.09
Snow covered church, 8th February 2007              Churchyard in the snow, 5th February 2009
(Photo courtesy of Gerry Elms)                               (Photo courtsy of Matt Bridger)



~ August: Knock off three zeros!

By popular demand Paul Bamborough, with his friends and fellow professionals again planned to delight an audience in Kington St Michael church with a miscellanea of organ and other music.

The organ in the church had been temperamental for several months, partially letting down one wedding service.  Although Colin Labouchere had managed to 'kick it into action' each time, the fault was pin-pointed to the blower which was originally installed in 1939.  A quote to install a new one came to approximately £2,500.

The concert was to be held on the 8th of August so Paul went to the church for a final rehearsal the previous afternoon and it was then that the organ finally and totally lost its voice.

An SOS from Paul brought Colin hot haste to the church (he was leaving for Ireland at cock's crow on the 8th).  Armed with tool kit and what he hoped to be a suitable blower that he had picked up recently at a Castle Combe car boot sales he had this fitted before nightfall and the concert, with organ recitals, went off without a hitch.  The installation was free and the new blower had cost £2.50.

Beat this for the saving of church funds!

~ Weathervane: Back in the storms of March 2007 the church weathervane was blown down, causing damage to the roof, but not the vane itself.  Following roof repairs, the vane was put back in its rightful position on Monday May 12, and looks very shiny and resplendent.


Church wethervane, 31st May 2008
The Church weathervane
(photo courtesy of Linda Durno)


Photos from the church tower: back in 1985 the public were able to go up the church tower to admire the view.  Click here to see some photos taken at the time.



Carol Singing at LEigh Delamere service station, on 17th December '05
Carol Singing at Leigh Delamere service station on 17th December '05


Flowers in the churchyard, March 05 Primroses in the churchyard, March 05
Flowers in the churchyard, March '05     Primroses in the churchyard, March '05


Conservation Area Group

The conservation area group was formed in 2002.  It helps maintain part of St Michael & All angels churchyard.  There is a management plan and Mr Ivan Randall (area organiser/conservationist from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust) has shown tremendous interest and been very generous with his help.

The Wiltshire Living Churchyard & Cemetary project "Bishops Award" has awarded us three certificates to date:

2002 commended for management for wildlife
2003 1 year of good management for wildlife
2004 2 years of good management for wildlife

If you are interested in our work please contact Janet Elms for further details.

Aerial View of St Michael & All Angels taken by Gerry Elms, September 2005  Churchyard entrance 1963
Aerial view of St Michael & All Angels            Churchyard entrance, 1963
(taken in September '05 by Gerry Elms)           (Photo by Dave Badminton)

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