St. Peter's, Stoke-On-Tern
We are a warm and welcoming church in the heart of Shropshire.
We have a passion for hospitality, and a building that allows this to happen.
We offer traditional Common worship, and more contemporary Cafe style Worship too, which is family orientated.
We also have a home group, and regular children's groups in the church and village primary school.
The wider Benefice has a thriving youth ministry.
St. Peter's Church, Stoke-on-Tern, Shropshire, TF9 2EZ
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Our Church History
In Bagshaw’s directory of Shropshire, dated 1851, the church was described as an ancient structure dedicated to St Peter, consisting of a nave, south aisle, side chapel and chancel, with a castellated tower ornamented with grotesque figures and containing five bells.
Pointed arches rising from octagonal pillars separate the side aisle. The Corbet chapel stands at the east end of the side aisle. This was built in 1782, containing a magnificent tomb of alabaster, elaborately ornamented with two full-length figures. These wear the robes of Sir Reginald Corbet, who is robed as a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and Lady Alice who is lying in a recumbent posture. Sir Reginald was a justice of the Queen’s bench, from 1559 until his death in 1566. The sides of the tomb bear the figures of his eleven children (six sons and five daughters, with the date when each child was born).
Within the church, there are some good examples of modern stained glass. Some of the earliest Kempe glass from around 1876 was used in both the East window and the South Aisle East window. The latter, which depicts the Adoration of the Magi, is especially attractive.
Kelly’s directory of Shropshire in 1891 relates that the church of St Peter was re-built between 1874-1875, at a cost of £10,500. It is described as an edifice of stone in the early English and Perpendicular style, having an embattled western tower containing six bells. It was Rev Rowland Corbet, the rector of Stoke on Tern, who re-built the church. He had already built the school in 1870, which was used as a chapel of ease during the re-building of the church. The church was built on the same foundations as the previous one, and in the same style.
Thomas Dutton, who was known as ‘The Shropshire Giant’, had taken over the duties of parish clerk at the age of 16; when his father died in 1869. He was immensely strong and played a very important part in the task of handling the stones for the building of the tower.
In 1881, the safe in St Peter’s Church was broken open and the contents thrown in the river, resulting in the loss of the earlier registers from 1540.
Externally there are some old tombstones and the basin of an old round font, which may possibly date from the 13th Century, and a tombstone to George Dod of Petsey who died in 1636. Petsey is the fine black and white farmhouse, which you can see across the fields on the other side of the river from St Peter’s.
The church cemetery on Warrant road was consecrated in 1904, and contains the graves of many World War II servicemen, who were probably stationed at the nearby Tern Hill air base and barracks.
In 1553, the church had three great bells and one sanctuary bell. These were recast in 1819, and an additional bell was added in 1874, when the church was re-built. There are now six bells plus a Sanctus bell which was put up in 1873. The Sanctus bell hangs in an open stone cot on the east side of the nave.
The organ is an 1874 three manual Brindley and Foster, believed to be only one of two in Shropshire. This was renovated in the early 2000s.
Recent years have seen the church moving into modern times. It underwent a period of re-ordering in 2003, and with the long-awaited laying of water pipes, we were able to have kitchen and toilet facilities installed. The lighting and heating systems have also been overhauled and with carpet laid and comfortable chairs, we have been able to move forward in our commitment to provide a welcoming place for worship and fellowship.