Tag Archives: past

St. Nicholas of Wilden & Albert Panchaud

St Nicholas Church

St. Nicholas Church, Wilden, Bedfordshire, England

The Church of England’s St. Nicholas at Wilden was built around 1200 AD and is built in the Gothic style of stone. The church consists of chancel, nave, south porch and a tower which holds three bells. The church is located in the small parish of Wilden in the county of Bedforeshire, England.

Earliest mention of the church is 1231 when it was in the King’s gift. In 1291 the living was valued at £13. 6s. 8d. The earliest church records date to the year 1545 and the following is the known list of rectors for Wilden St. Nicholas.

  • Nicholas de Breaut – 1222
  • Peter Ridel – 1237
  • Simon de Pabenham – 1246
  • Robert de Bueles – 1264
  • Malcolm de Harlye – 1273
  • Simon de Pavenham – 1298
  • John de Pabenham – 1321
  • Edmund de Pavenham – 1343
  • Robert Braybrok – 1361
  • Robert de Eston – 1362
  • William de Lokyngton – 1373
  • John Amy – 1375
  • John Seward – 1412
  • Thomas Gyles – 1416
  • Thomas Bylman – 1421
  • Richard Elstowe – 1456
  • Thomas Mychel – 1456
  • William Brande – 1472
  • Richard Kirkby – 1505
  • John Phillips – 1571
  • Walter Atkins – 1577
  • Richard Worsley – 1579
  • Francis Dillingham – 1600
  • Jasper Fisher – 1624
  • Thomas Watson – 1643
  • Thomas Rolt – 1657
  • John Nodes – 1695
  • Robert Paradine – 1718
  • Thomas Holme – 1742
  • William Fisher – 1747
  • Robert Holt Butcher – 1774
  • Edward Emily – 1779
  • Samuel Kent – 1781
  • William Morris – 1784
  • William Morris – 1806
  • John Vaux Moore – 1822
  • William Shove Chalk -1835
  • Richard Gregory Chalk – 1849
  • Edward W. Jones -1899
  • Robert Davies – 1905
  • John R. Pullan – 1907
  • Reginald Paddick – 1927
  • Albert L. Panchaud – 1931
  • Richard C. Chalk – 1941
  • Signey W. Golding – 1946
  • William R. Peverley – 1954
  • Leonard B. Impson – 1962
  • David Lewthwaite – 1975
  • Lawrence Griffith – 1980
  • John Heffer – 1988
  • Robin Rogers – 1992
  • Sheila Morton – 2008

Father Edmund de Pavenham survived the plague in which many victims were buried in a pit between the church and South Brook. And another famous rector, Francis Dillingham (1600-1624), was a translator of the authorized version, King James, of the Bible. He was buried at Wilden but no memorial or trace of the grave has been found.

Albert L Panchaud

The Reverend Albert Louis Panchaud, 1877-1941

My great uncle Albert Louis PANCHAUD was rector of St. Nicholas from 1932 until his death in 1941.

The Bedford Times

June 13, 1941 page 5


Loss to Two Bedfordshire Parishes

The funeral took place at Wilden Parish Church on Saturday of the Rev. Albert Louis Panchaud, late Rector of Wilden and Vicar of Ravensden, who died on 3rd June at the age of sixty-five years at St. Veryan, near Truro, Cornwall.

Mr. Panchaud was trained for the Ministry at the St. Aidan’s Clergy Training Hotel, Ballarat, Australia.  Ordained Deacon in 1904 and Priest the following year by the Bishop of Ballarat, he worked in the Church of Australia for six years.  He was for two years in India, and was teaching in England for five years, being for some time Head Master of Oak House School, Axminster, Somerset.  In 1918 he was in Egypt and Palestine.  Returning to England in 1919, he became Assistant Curate of Furneaux Pelham, Hertfordshire.  The next year he went to Throcking, Hertfordshire, as Rector, where he stayed until 1931.

Mr. Panchaud became Rector of Wilden and Vicar of Ravensden in 1931 and resigned last November because of ill-health.  He was popular in his parishes, had a good influence over young people, and took a great pride in the upkeep and beautifying of the churches.  Until he went to Cornwall three weeks ago, he had been residing at Home Farm, Ravensden.


A large and representative congregation from Wilden and Ravensden attended the funeral, the following clergy being present: The Rev. E. Fisher, Rector of Little Staughton, who read the opening Sentences; the Rev J. Luxford, Curate-in-Charge of Wilden and Ravensden, who read the Lesson; the Rev. H. F. D. Wynne, Rector of Colmworth, who said the Prayers in church; the Rev. W. G. Gould, Rector of Pertenhall, who read the Sentences at the graveside; and the Rural Dean, the Rev. J. Paulson, Vicar of Riseley, who said the Committal.  Miss M. Harrison was at the organ, and the choir was present.  The late Rector’s favourite hymns, “Jesu, lover of my soul” and “Fight the good fight,” were sung, and the Twenty-third Psalm was chanted.

Floral tributes were sent from: Brother and family, Bermuda; Clergy of Riseley Rural Deanery; Children and staff, Wilden School; Organist and choir, Wilden; Members of Ravensden P.C.C.; Hilda and Monty, Home Farm, Ravensden; Mrs. Harden and Nancy; All at Rosedale; Mr. and Mrs. Wootton and family; Miss Wiles, Bedford; Mrs. And Mrs. Whitmore and family; Mr. and Mrs. Dean and family; Mr. and Mrs. Coles and Mr. and Mrs. Draper and Mary; Mr. and Mrs. Pell; Mr. and Mrs. Filsell; Mr. and Mrs. Lovell and family; Mr. and Mrs. Pell; Mr. and Mrs. Croft and family; Friend Albert; Friend Marjorie.

The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. Clarabut and Plumbe of Bedford.


Why search for family?

I have been researching my family for almost 20 years.  Over that time a lot of people have asked me, “Why genealogy? What do you get out of it?”  There are many reasons to search. For me, it began as curiosity… I began wondering where did I come from, how did my ancestors love, what did they do, how did they get here – to this time and place. And its a way to connect the present with the past.

For others, they may begin searching for medical reasons. What diseases or illnesses run in the family? How come I’m 6 foot tall and my dad isn’t?

Some search just for the thrill of the hunt. When it comes to puzzles, nothing can match the complexity and fun of genealogy. Just think about a jigsaw puzzle that has an almost infinite number of pieces – some of them that don’t fit and some of them missing. Nothing can match the satisfaction I get from finding one of those lost pieces of the puzzle and putting it into place. These are puzzle pieces that lead to long-lost cousins and far-off places.

Still others desire to leave a lasting legacy.  Some people approach middle age or have a traumatic event at any age that prompts them to think about their mortality. “If I never meet my grandchildren, what will they know about me? What will they know about my parents? How will we be remembered?” Those of us who are fortunate enough to have ancestors in this category are indeed lucky. If you do nothing else with your family history, you should write down or record your life experiences in your own words in any way that you see fit.

Another reason to research is the emotional satisfaction gained through your efforts. The latest discovery can be touching and immensely satisfying. This is the moment that you look at your great grandfather’s signature on your grandparent’s marriage license; put your hand on the baptismal font where your oldest known ancestor was baptized; stand on the ground where your great grandfather from the old country is buried – knowing that your grandmother stood on this spot in front of an open grave grieving her loss. These moments are thrilling, goose-bump producing moments of a life time when you can almost reach across time and touch a person who you finally understand and know. These are moments you must not miss!

Lots of people get involved when they volunteer at their local genealogical or historical society. What a wonderful place to meet nice people who are willing to help you discover your roots. These groups are responsible for saving crumbling records all over the world and for making the information available to everybody. People who work in these places are almost always unpaid and give their time and effort on behalf of people like you and me every single day – people they have never even met. This is important work and you can get the satisfaction of helping other people by volunteering yourself. It is easy. Pick up the phone and call.

Whatever your reasons, give genealogy a try. It is a stimulating hobby that will put you in touch with yourself and with a lot of nice people who are ready and willing to help.


We are people to whom the past is forever speaking.  We listen to it because we cannot help ourselves, for the past speaks to us with many voices.

Far out of that dark nowhere which is the time before we were born, men and women who were flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone went through fire and storm to break a path to the future.

We are part of the future they died for; they are part of the past that brought the future.  What they did – the lives they lived, the sacrifices they made, the stories they told, the songs they sang, and, finally, the deaths they died – make up a part of our own experience.

We cannot cut ourselves off from it. It is as real to us as something that happened last week.  It is a basic part of our heritage as human beings.


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