The Odell shop in the high street of Stony Stratford is currently owned and run by two brothers, Richard and David. It was originally bought in 1863 by James Odell, their great grandfather, the youngest brother of John Odell, founder of Odells in Newport Pagnell. The business was bought from Edwin Revell, who is buried in the graveyard of St Mary and St Giles, and can be traced back as far as 1740.

Richard and David were christened in the church and Richard was married there in 1974. Click here to see photos of the wedding.

They have both used the church regularly and even after they were married and moved to nearby villages, they still came back to the church, although they tend to use their own village churches now.

The church maintains an account with the Odell's shop, and gets regular supplies of candles, cleaning materials etc. David recounts an interesting story about his great grandfather:

When my great-grandfather was alive, shortly after gas started coming into the town, there wasn’t such a thing as the Gas Board and people always went to the local ironmonger to supply fittings, pipes, mantels, lamps and everything else required. The vicar at the church wanted a gas chandelier to hang in one of the side aisles.

Richard Odell (left), Jim Reid (a colleague who works at Odells) and David Odell (right)
"The vicar came to the shop to enquire as to whether Odell’s could supply such a chandelier. Out came the catalogues and a magnificent chandelier was found, which was about 30 inches in diameter with brass fittings on it and lights all the way around a central tube, through which the gas was supplied. The vicar said he would like one of those and my great-grandfather duly thanked him for the order, and got it supplied by one of the Birmingham factories. My great-grandfather, knowing there were two aisles, one either side of the church, decided that it would only be a matter of time before the vicar came back and requested another one. He therefore ordered two chandeliers. One of them was supplied straight away and fitted and used, but they never came back for a second one.

"The other chandelier was put into one of the shop outbuildings, and was discovered in about 1975, when we had renovation work done to the building. The landlord of the Bull at that time, Howard Willis, saw the chandelier lying about and asked if he could have the centre section of it to hang in the Vaults bar. It is still there today, on your left as you go through the door - people hang their coats on it.”

The Odell shop front