A brief history of the Benefice
This benefice was formed in 1991 by the amalgamation of two existing benefices, namely that of Badby with Newnham, which had recently become vacant, and that of Charwelton with Fawsley and Preston Capes which had been without a permanent incumbent for nearly 10 years.
The first incumbent of the new benefice was the Revd. Stephen Adams who then moved to be Rector of Abington in Northampton, and the next incumbent, Revd Michael Petitt, took up his post in September 1998.
At around the time of Michael Petitt's arrival we were beginning to feel that the formal title (The United Benefice of Badby with Newnham and Charwelton with Fawsley and Preston Capes) was a bit of a mouthful, and the idea of a shorthand form was being mooted. Several possibilities were considered, but in the end the Benefice Council felt that, because of the connections of all the villages with the Knightley family of Fawsley, the title of The Knightley Parishes would be a very appropriate choice. The present head of the descendants of the Knightley family, Viscount Gage (himself a churchwarden of Fawsley for many years), was very happy for the family name to be used, and the Bishop also gave his consent on behalf of the Diocese.