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St Giles’ Church, which stands on the highest point of the village, was built in the 13th century, using red sandstone from Hopwas Wood. The base of the tower is all that remains of that building. The spire was added after the Reformation. The nave was rebuilt in 1761 after the building was almost destroyed by fire. The chancel was added in 1880.
The dark oak pulpit was originally given to Lichfield Cathedral in 1671 and remained there for 118 years and arrived at Whittington in 1922 via the church at Elford and many years in storage.
The organ is a two-manual instrument built in 1920 as a memorial to villagers killed in the First World War. On the front of the pipes is a brass plaque made from a shell case brought from the Mons battlefield and inscribed with the names of the men who lost their lives. The organ was moved to the balcony in 1956 and converted to digital control in 2013.
The north and south chancel windows contain fragments of mediaeval glass that may have come from Burton Abbey. The millennium window, installed by village subscription, depicts the church, the legend of St Giles and the hind, and the Staffordshire countryside.
Two old bells still hang in the tower – the clock bell cast in 1618 and the sanctus bell cast in 1630. In 1991 a ring of six bells, dating from 1875, was transferred from St James’s Islington. Two bells were added in 2008 to complete the octave.
The churchyard is notable for its display of spring-flowering bulbs and for the grave of Thomas Spencer, co-founder of Marks & Spencer Ltd, who was born in Skipton and died on 25 July 1905.
Other interesting graves in the churchyard include Lieutenant Colonel George Simon, MD, Army Medical Service (Honorary Brigadier Surgeon) and Marie Cecil Birch, daughter of Sir Robert Warburton, who was Warden of the Khyber Pass, 1879 to 1897.
There are also 55 military graves tended by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in our churchyard. The latest is that of WO2 Ian Michael Fisher, 3rd Battalion, The Mercian Regiment, who was killed in Afghanistan on 5 November 2013.
Read more here: St Giles’ Welcome Leaflet 2016