St. Peter's Church Slinfold

About St. Peter's Church

History


Records show that there has been a church on this site since about 1230A.D. although it has been suggested from architectural details in drawings of the old church (made before the rebuilding in 1860) that it could be a Norman foundation dating back to the late 11th or early 12th century. The list of Rectors in the porch stretches back to 1400.

By the Victorian era the church was in considerable disrepair and it was calculated that rebuilding would be less expensive than repair. Accordingly, the old church was demolished in 1860. Happily the daughter of the then Rector, a Miss Vincent, took a large range of watercolour paintings, recording details of the old building, which are held in the church archives.

Rebuilt the next year in a Gothic Revival style (designed by architect Benjamin Ferrey) St Peter's had a spire, demolished for safety reasons in 1969, and gifts provided stained glass, a reredos depicting The Last Supper, a John Fincham pipe organ , a pulpit believed to be by Rev. J.A.Hatchett, a rood screen (removed in 1969) and 4 new bells (the tower also contains 2 older bells, see Details of Bells.). The font was probably from the older building and could be as old as 14th century. A small memorial brass from 1537 commemorating Richard Bradbrydge remains in the chancel also a damaged one to the Cowper family of Stroud. Several memorial tablets are displayed in the porch, along with a mediæval (c13th) figure of a recumbent female (possibly a member of the Tregoz family) which was reportedly retrieved from the river Arun near Dedisham, hence she is known as the Lady of Dedisham; at Easter the children give her a posy of primroses.

Now


St Peter's has evolved over the years since the rebuilding. As well as the removal of the spire and rood screen, additions have been made, notably the Kneelers. and more recently the major project which provided an annexe containing a toilet with disabled-access and a storage & sink area for the flower arrangers. The chancel has been re-organised to allow for more flexible use, including accomodating the Slinfold Concert Band who usually play for our Remembrance Day service and for the Service of Lessons & Carols late in December.

The local NADFAS group recently prepared and presented to us a catalogue of church effects and equipment. They also approved 'The Trail for Children at St Peter's Church', an activity for young visitors, with pictures and questions; an interesting and informative way to occupy inquiring minds. We also have a directory of the memorial stones in the churchyard and catalogue of the kneelers available for reference.

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