The church is built of flint rubble, boulder clay, pudding-stone, septaria, and pillaged Roman tile and brick. It dates from the 12th century and consists of just a nave and chancel, the former having a 15th-century south porch.
By the mid-19th century the church was in a poor condition and badly sited for the community it then served, so it was replaced with a new building. This was built in 1850 to the designs of Ewan Christian. The font, holy water stoup and parish chest were all removed to the new church .
Although it remained as a chapel of ease to the new church, Old St Peter’s fell into decline and was threatened with demolition on more than one occasion. After 120 years of decay it was declared redundant in 1970.
We took this church into our care in 1975. It has taken years to haul it back from the clutches of decay.
Astonishingly, during our work, we discovered four different painted schemes of wall-painting were uncovered. The earliest dates to the 13th century, the last is dated 1637.
Since 1994, the nave of St Peter’s has been used as a studio by stained-glass artist, Ben Finn. In 2022, Ben created and installed a new award-winning east window depicting Jacob’s ladder, and four single-light windows representing St Helena, St Cedd, St Peter and St Bartholomew.
St Peter’s was one of our earliest and most difficult cases. It’s become one of our greatest success stories.