"A Walk Through Time" - Part 1


In 1903 the great gilded wooden reredos, presented by the 11th Duke of Bedford, was installed. It was designed by W.D. Caroe, manufactured at Oberammergau and depicts the Annunciation and the Holy Family.

The altar hanging or dorsal is a panel of woven and embroidered silk made by Jill Thompson and others and presented in 2003 in memory of Hugh Paddick, the film and television actor. The lily is the symbol of St Mary.

The gold altar frontal is Victorian, renovated by Mrs Frances Spavins in 1968 to celebrate the centenary of the church.


St Mary's Church is rooted in the Woburn Abbey Estate which continues to maintain and restore its exterior. It is also part of the local community. Every Sunday its bells ring out over the village as a reminder of its presence and of the gospel it continues to preach. There is a fine three-manual organ made by Norman and Beard in 1904 and a continuing tradition of choral music in the parish and neighbourhood. St Mary's is popular for weddings and other family occasions and the crypt has been redesigned to provide a well-equipped function room.

'Seascape' (below). In the 1970s and 80s backgrounds and accessories were used in competetive flower shows and festivals to interpret a particular theme or title.



The Lady Chapel (right) in the north-eastern corner of the church contains the painting of the Virgin and Child by Carlo Maratti, a 17th century Italian painter. It was presented by one of the Dukes of Bedford and originally hung in the old Woburn church. A plaque on the chapel wall indicates that most of the elegant carpentry in this part of the church is the work of Kenneth Spavins, a Churchwarden for many years, to mark the 1968 centenary of the church's foundation.

The oak pulpit (37) with its canopy (below) dates from 1902. The nearby floral display (31) is entitled 'Towers and Spires' which refers to the original building with both a tower and a spire which together rose to a height of 200 feet. The vibrations caused by the 55 cwt bell made them both unsafe and so the spire was removed in 1892.



Twenty-first Century Wedding Designs - European floral designers such as Wally Klett are having a profound influence on present day wedding styles.


The Bath stone font (left) was placed here when the church was built. The floral decoration is in Edwardian style.



Part 2 of the 140th Anniversary Flower Festival may be accessed by clicking here.