December 11 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, September 28, 2013
In the north wall of St Andrew’s Church in Abbots Ripton a new window has been installed to commemorate the life of a Huntingdonshire MP who served the area for more than three decades.
On Sunday the friends and family of Lord David Renton gathered for a dedication and celebration of the man who served in Westminster from 1945 to 1979 as both a National Liberal and a Conservative.
He later became a member of the House of Lords, where he acted as deputy speaker.
The new colourful stained glass window, depicting the family coat of arms, replaces a plain window – the original stained glass window was destroyed during the reformation of the monasteries.
Lord Renton’s daughter Clare Renton said: “We wanted to commemorate my father having worshipped at St Andrew’s Church for 65 years. Our family are honoured to have been allowed to enhance the church in this way.”
She added: “We were so pleased that my father is well remembered in the village that meant so much to him.”
The window was the second contribution that Lord Renton’s family have made to the church, as shortly after his death they replaced a bell which had been absent for around 300 years. It had been confiscated as a fine for allegedly taking a plague-stricken person into a neighbouring village.
Organised by Lord Renton’s family, with support from the churchwarden Valerie Scothern and the Reverend Rosemary Maskell, the service included a dedication prayer followed by a celebratory lunch.
The service was attended by Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly, Lady Alexander of Weedon and Lord de Ramsey alongside Clare Renton and her sister Caroline Stanley, plus many of Lord Renton’s friends from Abbots Ripton.
Alongside his long parliamentary career, Lord Renton is also remembered for his lust for life, having played cricket for the Lords and Commons until he was 66 and continuing to ride and hunt into his 70s. At the age of 94 he became one of the oldest candidates to pass a driving test for the first time.
He lived at a cottage on Lord de Ramsey’s estate in Abbots Ripton before his death, aged 98, in May 2007.