1964 - Another fire
On Boxing Day 1964 some children playing with candles in the church of St Giles started a fire in the building, the result of which was to have a long lasting effect on the community.
The fire caused considerable damage to the interior of St Giles. Consideration was therefore given to extend St Mary the Virgin (the parish church of Wolverton St Mary), to make it the parish church for Stony Stratford. The Oxford Diocesan authorities had been questioning the need for two churches in the town, particularly as the development of railway workers housing had not been as extensive as originally estimated. The fire damage gave them the opportunity to return to having one church for the town, but which church?
Boxing day fire 1964. St Giles church. Photograph taken by Bill Barby.
Petitions were raised for both churches but the decision was made to restore St Giles church and to close the church of St Mary the Virgin. This decision naturally upset many of the parishioners of St Mary the Virgin, a number of whom refused to attend the new St Mary and St Giles church from its reopening until the present day.
St Mary the Virgin church. Photograph taken by Wolverton Express.