Village priest Mary Edwards is invoking an ancient law and calling on the people of Collingbourne Ducis and Everleigh to attend the village butts in Collingbourne a week tomorrow for archery practice.

The Rev Mrs Edwards who has been a member of the Savernake team of churches since 2000 has discovered that a law introduced at the time of Battle of Agincourt when Henry V’s army defeated the French in 1415 is still on the statute books.

The law gave priests the duty of ensuring that all of their villagers were prepared to repel invaders and laid down that they had to practise archery at the village butts once a week.

The team vicar has decided to invoke this medieval law and summon all the villagers from Collingbourne Ducis and Everleigh to the butts in Collingbourne next Friday, June 11, to make sure they are competent archers.

The Oxenwood Outdoor Activities Centre will be providing the bows and arrows and targets for the archery training and children will have their training from 4-6pm with adults from 7pm.

The revival of the ancient law is a novel way for the village church, St Andrews, to celebrate getting a toilet for the first time in its 840 year history.

Church warden Mike Cox explained: “They never quite got around to finishing the church by installing a toilet until now. It should finally be finished and flushing on June 11 after 840 years.”

Grants were obtained to cover the £50,000 cost of the project.

Next Friday as well as the archery at the village butts there will be live music, hot food and a bar to celebrate the occasion.