Our History

Below is a brief summary of the history of our church. There is excellent information and a detailed history of the church at: https://southwellchurches.nottingham.ac.uk

The decision to rebuild St Peter’s Church as it is today was taken in 1884. Donations were received from many people including from wealthy village families including Philo Mills of Ruddington Hall, an American industrialist, and from the sisters Lucy and Ann Paget, from the influential local Paget family at Ruddington Grange.

When the money for the new church had been substantially raised, building work commenced in 1887, the foundation stone can be seen on the north wall of the sanctuary. The eventual cost of building was around £12,000

Despite the Evangelical tradition of St Peter’s the architecture is in the Gothic Revival style favoured by the Anglo Catholic Oxford Movement that was influential in Victorian England. In the new architecture, the cluttered box pews of the previous church were abandoned and in a style reminiscent of a medieval cathedral, a large uncomplicated nave accommodates the worshipping people who are separated from the clergy by an ornate wooden screen through to the chancel. The pilgrimage of faith is symbolised by a rising journey from nave, through chancel to sanctuary, where a distant and richly carved high altar is positioned.

The interior of St Peter’s was not all Anglo Catholic symbolism however. A prominent pulpit and a fine brass eagle lectern were designed to emphasise the importance of the preached Word of God.

The building has served the community well over the years but changes continue to enhance the practicality of the building. Lighting and heating has been regularly updated and in 1995 a light oak vestibule, acting as a crèche during services, was created beyond the south door with glass panels allowing a clear view into the church, and toilet facilities were constructed behind the original panelling on the west side. A small kitchen and store cupboard was added in 1996 behind light oak doors in the baptistery and the ornate font dating from 1885 was moved from the baptistery to a position nearer the West door.

In 2009 the church community decided that better use could be made of the large church nave by the replacement of pews with chairs. This not only makes for more comfortable seating arrangements but also allows the space to be used to hold church events for the whole family. It also gives the opportunity on occasion to break from the constraints of the Gothic Revival architecture to worship God in more intimate or vibrant ways.