St Giles Church

St. Giles Living Churchyard Project

The Lifetime Achievement Award - Ivan Randall

I am very happy to announce that Ivan Randall, one of our coordinators, has won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.

Ivan has been a long-time volunteer with the Trust, putting in thousands of hours in practical work as well as providing advice for the launch of other Churchyard Projects.

Ivan can be found in the WWT diary most weekends, leading voluteer walks in some of the well known reserves in Wiltshire, but more importantly Ivan has knowledge of sites that most people have never heard of - but are rich in biodiversity. Ivan was the volunteer warden at the Vicients Wood reserve for many years before he retired from that role. He has been instrumental in the setting up of many Living Churchyard Projects throughout Wiltshire and has been the joint coordinator for the St Giles Living Churchyard Project in Stanton St Quintin for many years.

As well as being quiet and supportive, Ivan is known for his vast knowledge of wildlife and the issues affecting conservation. He is always keen to promote the activity of the trust and can often be found at local shows with a WWT stand.

All in all, this was a well deserved win for Ivan and look forward to working with him - and learning from him - for many more years.

The Living Churchyard 2019

The Living Churchyard Project maintains the churchyard as a wildlife haven. Once a month there is a practical social gathering when all are welcome to visit, to help or just to have a tour (and a drink and a biscuit). Our dates this year (all Saturdays 9.30 to 12 noon) are:
March 16th
April 20th
May 18th
June 15th
July 6th
July 27th
August 17th
September 14th
October 12th
November 23rd

 WAAF Memorial Window Dedication. St Giles Church

On Sunday 6 May St. Giles Church, Stanton St Quintin was bedecked in floral displays of red, white and blue for a service to dedicate a stained glass window in honour of more than 100 other ranks of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force who were billeted in the village during the Second World War. Amongst the special guests were WAAF veterans Dorothy Brown, who worked as a flight mechanic at Hullavington airfield, and radio operator Ena Day. They were joined by former VAD nurse Helen Mc Alpine, who grew up in Stanton St Quintin. Marjorie Morgan led the service, in the presence of the Mayor of Chippenham Cllr Mary Norton, Air Commodore Barbara Cooper and a large contingent from the WRAF, RAF and 1304 Squadron Chippenham Air Cadets. Standard bearers were provided by the RAF Association, Royal British Legion and Air Cadets.

Churchwarden Hilary Greene read John Gillespie Magee’s poem ‘High Flight’ and Katherine Bennett CBE, Senior Vice President of Airbus delivered a bible reading.

The window, which is the third in St. Giles Church to be designed by local artist Peter Berry, is contemporary in design, featuring WAAF flight mechanics overhauling an Airspeed Oxford, and a series of World War Two aircraft flying within radio frequency lines. It was financially supported by many individual donations and grants from charitable trusts and will serve as a lasting legacy to the service of the WAAF who worked at RAF Hullavington.

After the service the congregation repaired across the road to Stanton St Quintin Primary School. Here memories were recounted and stories shared over a wonderful afternoon tea prepared and served by Chris Vines and her team.

Thanks are due to Marjorie Morgan, Rev. Christopher Bryan and the Parochial Church Council for their support of this project and the many individuals who have contributed their time and donations to bring it to fruition.

Dr. Fiona Baskett

Exciting news Ivan has received a letter from the Prime Minister, David Cameron, congratulating him on his sterling work for the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.




The Project continues to flourish, and people help this to work in many ways.

We have completed our 10 practical work sessions spread throughout the year. These are always an enjoyable interlude in such a hectic world. Many health organisations are promoting the benefits of the green gym to refresh mind, body and soul. Our green gym, caring for Gods Acre at St. Giles has been in operation for 19 years now. Even the seemingly mundane task of raking up grass can help cast off worries and bring a sense of wellbeing and achievement.

So thank you to everyone who has helped in any way. Those doing the raking, other hard work tasks such as clearing long grass and stacking the leavings pile. Also the so important TLC tasks identifying and nurturing the more fragile species and updating records to show exactly what effect our management is having. At the Annual Seminar at Wilcot we were presented with the Bishops Award for continued wildlife management at St. Giles this accredits and validates our work

The St. Giles Blog can be found at So ably compiled by Sue and Tim. So to the future – 2017 will see our 20th year of continued management.

There have been many depressing reports in the press recently concerning declining wildlife, especially Butterflies. At St. Giles we have good numbers of Meadowland species. However we need the management to continue for years to come. So we look forward to some new volunteers next year with the enthusiasm to take this established wildlife site onwards and also improve it. Recently our Churchyard has been nominated by Caring for Gods Acre, the national body for management of sacred land, to become a top ten Churchyard to visit. More information can be found on the Church Days website.

More about our lovely Norman Church

Churchwarden Mrs Hilary Greene looks after the St Giles Church website. This can be found at:

and includes everything you need to know about forthcoming services & events.

Nick Greene,
Sep 30, 2016, 4:23 AM