SEVEN hundred years of church and village history were celebrated in Birtsmorton at the weekend.

The occasion was the anniversary of the Church of St Thomas of Canterbury with St Peter and St Paul.

Although it was built more than 700 years ago, its first recorded rector, William de Schyrburne, was installed in 1300.

The whole weekend was given over to various events at the church and at the new conference centre at Birtsmorton Court.

Historical displays of photographs, artefacts, local crafts and flowers were exhibited alongside a pig roast, tug-of-war and dancing by women's Morris side England's Glory. There was also a special service of thanksgiving with the Archdeacon of Worcester, the Venerable Joy Tetley.

The idea for the celebrations came from a former churchwarden, Bill Peters, who held the post for 36 years.

"I think the event raised quite a lot of interest and a lot of people who came travelled some distance," he said.