A STAVERTON man who wanted some historical information on the village’s church has received it from the most unlikely source.

Online Parish Clerk (OPC) John Corfield appealed to local people to help him track the history of St Paul’s Church in March via an article in the Wiltshire Times.

Eight months on, after hearing nothing, a man from Australia contacted the 66-year-old out of the blue to say he had what he was looking for.

Mr Corfield said: “When I first told the Wiltshire Times I was looking for a book called The History of St Paul’s Church by Pete Lavis I described it as the ‘Holy Grail’ because I couldn’t find a copy of it anywhere.

“After eight months had passed with no word I didn’t think I’d ever find the book, but then something amazing happened.

“A man from Australia called Mark Tugwell emailed me to say he had seen the article in the Wiltshire Times and had a copy of the book.

“I thought it was hilarious that not one person from Wiltshire had any information but someone on the other side of the world did.”

Mr Tugwell emailed Mr Corfield on October 21 and posted the book shortly after. It arrived at Mr Corfield’s house on Friday, November 18.

In an email to Mr Corfield, Mr Tugwell said: “I have a strong attachment to Staverton as my mother was born in Holt and lived in Staverton until she married before moving to Hilperton, where I was born.

“Also my grandfather was born in one of the ‘Milk Factory’ cottages where my great grandfather Herbert worked.

“I went back to the UK in 2008 and spent a while wandering about St Paul’s Church and it brought back a lot of memories of attending weddings and christenings as a child and spending most Saturdays at my grandparents, who then lived on New Terrace, near the railway.”

Mr Corfield became the OPC last year after moving to the village from Trowbridge.

The role of an OPC is to assist those who are researching their family history in a specific parish who might otherwise have difficulty accessing information at record offices.

His main objectives are to make a photographic record and transcriptions of all the gravestones as well as make photographic records of the births, deaths and marriages in the village over this time.