Councillor David Francis Matthew Horton MBE, MA (Cantab), chairman of the Parish Council, gentleman farmer, pillar of the community, District Councillor for Dibley and Whitworth and main opponent of the female vicar. A notorious town bully, he is rigid, old-fashioned, efficient, callous and punctual, yet as the show progresses, becomes lovable and endearing. He has never missed a council meeting. In fact, in one episode Jim and Owen reminisce about when David's wife went into labour with Hugo, and David held the meeting in the maternity ward. His wife left him prior to the show's beginning due to his obnoxious nature (although he mistakenly believes she left him because he was a bad cook.) In later episodes of the series, Horton comes to fall for the Vicar and even proposes to her (she accepts his proposal but later decides to back out of it). He is initially a Conservative, but defects to the Labour Party in 2000 as part of his attempt to persuade Geraldine to marry him. Whether he switches his party allegiance back after she refuses him is unknown. His love for the vicar, however, is steadfast and true. He later supported the Make Poverty History campaign. He is a multi-millionaire. Hugo mentions that people used to call him "Dirty Dave". David was an unloving father to Hugo, and even threatened to disinherit him if he married Alice, whom David detests. However he changed his mind and later admitted to the Vicar that Alice and Hugo are happy together.
Alice Springs Horton (née Tinker) is the verger at the church. Blonde and dippy (Geraldine describes her as having "the intellectual capacity and charisma of a cactus"), Alice is the only main character who does not sit on the parish council. She is the product of a one-night stand between her mad mother (who in the last two episodes is said to be in a mental home) and the cousin of David Horton's father (present-day David Horton's first cousin once removed and predecessor on the parish council), also called David Horton. She and Hugo, her second cousin once removed, are fond of each other and the vicar plays Cupid successfully in one episode. They eventually marry and have ten children - the eldest, Geraldine, was born on 24 December 1999, in the middle of the village nativity play in which her parents were playing Mary and Joseph. Featuring in the closing credits for most episodes, Geraldine and Alice have a cup of tea while Geraldine tries to tell Alice a joke (frequently the joke is slightly off-colour). Alice rarely understands the jokes that Geraldine tells her and usually proceeds to over-analyse the humour thereby completely killing the joke. In the final episode Geraldine's new husband Harry Kennedy explains the grammar involved and Alice finally understands it. Alice believes in the Easter Bunny, Father Christmas and the tooth fairy. After reading The Da Vinci Code she believes herself to be descended from Jesus. She is dim-witted and naive but also sweet-natured and very endearing. She has many misconceptions, such as mistaking Black Sabbath for gospel singers, telling David that Jesus was one of The Carpenters and referring to Albert Einstein as Andrew Einstein. As a child Alice had a series of budgies named Carrot and, until Geraldine reveals that each Carrot was a separate budgie entirely, Alice believed that her first budgie Carrot was reincarnated, "Just like Jesus, but with feathers". Alice also has a sister, Mary, who is older than Alice but is even more dim-witted. Alice's mother is often described as insane by Geraldine.
A rabid fan of Doctor Who, Alice unsuccessfully tries to incorporate themes from the sci-fi show into her wedding, including having a wedding gown "with lots of hearts on it...and a different Doctor Who in each one!". However, she ends up with a gown decorated with a massive heart with hers and Hugo's names inside. She succeeds in having a Doctor Who wedding during Geraldine's own wedding. When Gerry's friends take over wedding preparations, Alice uses her position as maid of honor to dress herself as the Tenth Doctor and the other bridesmaids as Daleks.
Hugo Horton is David's sweet-natured, friendly yet dim-witted and childlike son; Geraldine once also likens his intellect to a cactus. In "Celebrity Vicar", a newspaper describes him in the headline "Rich as Croesus, Thick as Shit"; Hugo does not think the press meant to be rude, to which David replies "Though you can't deny it's a possibility." Sometimes seen sporting a Royal Agricultural College tie, he served as his father's campaign manager at the October 1994 district council election, but inadvertently wound up going door to door with David's Labour opponent, Kevin Smewyn, delivering adverts and making introductions for him. Hugo and Alice Tinker are always shown to have tender feelings for each other, but they do not get together as a couple until Geraldine plays Cupid in "Engagement". David was never a loving nor affectionate father to Hugo, dominating him and undermining all his dreams and ambitions. In one episode, Geraldine mentions that God is a father much like his own father, and Hugo recalls what his father did to him as a child: shouting, insulting and caning him (although he does mention a time when David pretended to be Father Christmas). When Geraldine corrects him and says she was referring to a loving, caring father, Hugo believes he had another father. Despite this, Hugo still loves and respects his father but finally stands up to him when it came to marrying Alice, whom David predictably despises. He nicknames Geraldine "Mrs God". Hugo has a Golden Retriever named Bruno who is seen in "Animals" and "Election".
Frank Pickle (born 12 August 1929) is the likable but boring and pedantic secretary of the parish council. He is so boring that nobody listens to him, even when he tries to relate such momentous events such as "the time he went down to the pub and they'd completely run out of crisps" or "the time when the milkman was 47 minutes late" or "when he heard a cuckoo in March, only it turned out to be a pigeon". In "Celebrity Vicar", while trying to get "crazy anecdotes" about Geraldine for a journalist with all the details, the newspaper headline asks "Is this The Most Boring Man in Britain?" Due to his tendency to go on and on when given the opportunity, it is said that five people, including his parents, have died while he was talking, and even his therapist accused him of being boring. He decided to declare his homosexuality in a radio broadcast to the village (after over 40 years of keeping it secret), but apart from Geraldine, who was with Frank at the time, none of the villagers listened to his broadcast. The next day, he decides to assert his sexuality more openly by wearing a bright cerise blazer to attend the parish council meeting rather than his usual brown one. Other references in the show suggest that Frank is bisexual, as he also once admitted to fancying Margaret Beckett as well as fellow councilors Owen Newitt and David Horton; is as affected by the naked model in the Dibley Parish Life Art Class as the others and painted the same model in the landscape class. He also admitted to sleeping with Owen's cousin Sally and it is implied that he fathered one of her three children (the other two being fathered by Jim and Owen). He defines his ideal man as a 25-year-old South American with an interest in Oxfordshire council procedures. He also gives Alice away at her wedding but wears a sign which states that he is not Alice's father and also tries to put a note in the programme that states that he is not Alice's father but is a close family friend and has "not had sexual relations with Mrs Tinker in any way whatsoever".
Jim Trott is a parish council member, who has an idiosyncratic way of prefacing "no-no-no-no-no..." to almost everything he says, in particular "yes!" A newspaper in "Celebrity Vicar" gives him the headline "No, No, No, No Brain". His stuttering once led him to lose on Deal or No Deal. His wife Doris does the opposite, saying "yes-yes-yes-yes-yes...". Jim used to be a good dancer, though an unconvincing singer. Despite being married to Doris, he has no qualms about joining Owen in openly flirting with the Vicar, frequently commenting on her "lovely arse". He is also openly promiscuous with a penchant for young blondes and Eastern beauties. In one episode he learns that Doris is having sex with her cousin Brenda. In the final episode, he proposed to the vicar, suggesting that he is no longer married, perhaps through divorce, or that his wife has died prior to this episode or that he is willing to commit bigamy. He became the church organist after the death of Letitia Cropley. In the episode "The Christmas Lunch Incident", Jim mentions that Doris is taking "A Competent Grandparenting Course", suggesting Jim has children but this is never mentioned in the show, though it is implied he fathered a child with Owen's cousin Sally.
Owen Newitt is a local farmer and a parish council member with a very earthy manner. He lives alone at the farm with his animals and is famous for displaying extremely poor personal hygiene, compounded with chronic problems with his stomach and bowels, both resulting in flatulence. The newspaper in "Celebrity Vicar" dubbed him "Britain's B.O. King". He was the first to support the new vicar's appointment as a lone dissenter, saying that a woman would not be a bad thing since the previous vicar was "a regular old woman anyway", just as David looked set to persuade the other members of the parish council to oppose Geraldine's appointment. His signature running gag was that he was chronically late for the parish council meetings, and had humorously legitimate, if gruesome, reasons for his delays (often involving graphic tales of amputating animals' appendages or otherwise mangling them). Previous generations of his family also appear to be as bloodthirsty as Owen, as he proudly declares they have been "staging cock-fights" and "gassing badgers" in the village for several centuries, and he also has a few murderers in his family. He also has had a history of "sorrow and tragedy, " according to Jim and Frank: his brother drowned himself, because of his girlfriend's refusing to marry him; his father shot himself shortly after his wife left him; and his grandmother tried to leave, but his grandfather shot her and then himself. Owen proposed to the vicar in "Engagement". She rejected him (mostly because "his breath smells like nerve gas" and the gel on his hair is really lard), but the main reason was because she simply did not love him. He was not upset, having found out that she was a drinker and declares he cannot tolerate women who drink. Despite this, he frequently makes crude and misguided attempts at flirting with her, which typically backfire, and even proposed to her again the night before her wedding to Harry Kennedy. Owen spent every Christmas alone since his uncle's death in 1971 until Geraldine joined him for Christmas dinner in 1996 (one of many such invitations she accepted that year). In several episodes, dialogue suggests that Owen engages in bestiality (such as when he declares rumours that the vicar is a lesbian to be the "best news since they made having sex with animals legal again"). Owen also has a swearing 'probling' and often uses the word 'bloody,' describing the word as 'a useful adjective'.
Letitia Cropley was a Parish Council member and the Dibley church organist. Geraldine once referred to her as "The Queen of Cordon Bleurgh", and David Horton called her "The Dibley Poisoner". She was the creator of such revolting "delicacies" as "Bread and butter pudding surprise" (a recipe for which she was breeding snails), Marmite cake (which she served for Frank's birthday), orange cake with Branston Pickle icing (which she served at the cake stall at the Dibley autumn fayre), parsnip brownies, plain pancakes "with just a hint of liver," and chocolate spread sandwiches made with cod roe. Letitia only appeared in the first series and the special "The Easter Bunny", in which her character died. Her dying request to Geraldine was that she take over from her as the Easter Bunny, taking chocolate eggs around the village each Easter. However, when Geraldine saw every member of the parish council doing the same, it became clear that she had made the same request to all of them, owing to her forgetful nature. Earlier in the episode she said she had a "memory like an elephant that's lost its memory". Jim and Frank have also referred to her as a 'hot young red head' along with Owen's father having talked of her often, with various nicknames such as 'Luscious Letitia,' Titillatin' Tish,' and 'always lets you dock your boat in her jetty Letty'. It has also been suggested that she has a crush on Frank and thinks he has 'nice thighs', as she admitted on her death bed. She was generally seen on the Parish Council crocheting.
David Horton's very tall and attractive brother Simon Horton (Clive Mantle) becomes one of the Vicar's lovers in a brief romance. They first meet at the drinks party before Alice and Hugo's wedding and later they meet again when Simon comes up for Sunday lunch with David. After many efforts to get rid of several parishioners who come knocking on her door with various requests, including telling Jim Trott and Frank Pickle that 7 down on a crossword is "Plodipop", and arranging the four words "Leave-You-Remorseless-Bastards" on the Scrabble board, Geraldine finally manages to join Simon who's waiting patiently in her bedroom, followed by a few weeks of romantic bliss. Later Simon dumps her telling her that he has a girlfriend in Liverpool. A struck Geraldine therefore goes into seclusion, binging on chocolate bars and pots of ice cream, and neglecting her church duties. She decides to resign from her ministry as the Vicar of Dibley, but changes her mind when her parishioners and friends show their loyalty and support by hanging up a huge banner that reads "That tall git Simon may have bonked you and then dumped you like an old jock strap but we still love you. "
Geraldine Horton: The daughter of Alice and Hugo Horton. She was born on Christmas Eve during Geraldine Granger's nativity play, when Alice and Hugo played Mary and Joseph. She has nine siblings. Her grandfather, David Horton, pities baby Geraldine and her siblings for being born to their simple-minded parents yet it is evident that they adore their daughter. A statue was made of Geraldine, as an infant, on the village green. She appears in the episodes "Winter", "Spring" and "Summer" and again with all nine of her siblings in a Christmas special. In the Christmas special Horton is presented, along with her five sisters, in pink tutus or pink plaid skirts and other accessories such as pink fur ponchoes. She is the only child of Hugo and Alice whose name is mentioned. In the "Merry Christmas" episode, when the Horton children are revealed, Geraldine stands in the centre in front of her father (holding her youngest brother) and brothers and stands behind her four sisters and next to her mother (holding the youngest sister). Alice and Hugo had planned on naming their first born "Vicar" after the vicar but Geraldine suggests the name "Geraldine" instead and this becomes the child's name.
Alice and Hugo's other children only ever appeared as a cameo in the 2004 Christmas Special. They had 10 children (four sons and six daughters). As seen in a documentary of the 2004/05 specials DVD release, a scene with Geraldine greeting the children revealing their outrageous names was cut before the show went in front of cameras.