|1968 - The re-dedication of St Mary and St Giles|
|On Sunday 30 March 1968 the final service was held at St Mary the Virgin church. More than 100 people attended. Following the service the 100 year old church was stripped of pews, altars and fitments and locked up. By an order in Council signed by the Queen, the two former parishes of St Giles and St Marys ceased to exist and a new parish of St Mary and St Giles was created.|
|Following the fire on Boxing Day 1964, renovations had been underway at St Giles church. On Palm Sunday, 7 April 1968, Stony Stratford was given a new parish, a new church and a new vicar. The Bishop of Buckingham, the Reverend C.G. Pepys commenced the evening service with the rehallowing and dedication of the building as the parish church of St Mary and St Giles. The Wolverton Express reported that in the Bishop's sermon he likened the merging of the two churches to a marriage, "one of the most glorious features of life. This was a marriage of two congregations, people with different view points, who were now being merged into one, so that Stony Stratford might have life."|
|Inside the new St Mary and St Giles|
|The Bishop of Buckingham also instituted the new parish's first vicar - the Reverend C.H.J. Cavell-Northam, formerly vicar of Lane End, near High Wycombe. The church was packed for the service, people queued to get in and there were not enough seats to go round. Reverend Cavell-Northam admitted to the Wolverton Express that he had a difficult job on his hands:
"The emphasis will really be on everyone taking his part, not only in the church services, but in the whole of the life of the parish, making everyone feel that this is their church," he said. "We want to get everyone working together, praying together and be ready to welcome the new people, for the church has a great job to play in the new city."
|A photograph of FatherCavell-Northam taken from the Wolverton Express|
|Father Cavell-Northam inherited a debt of about £7,000 for renovations to the church.
The renovations had been to the original Georgian design and had been supervised by the Georgian society. Alterations had included the moving of the altar to allow the celebrant to face the congregation, pews had been replaced by chairs, and a semi-circular pavement and communion rail had been installed. Also, the font had been re-sited to the south east of the nave and the choir and organ had been relocated to the gallery.
|For the re-dedication of St Mary and St Giles, a specially commissioned 4.5m high fibreglass crucifix, designed by Paul Weller, was mounted behind the altar. The sculptured figure represents the risen Christ and symbolises that from the death of two old parishes comes new life for the church of St Mary and St Giles.|