St. Peter's Church, Cleethorpes

Built in Nineteenth Century: Opened in 1866

A Brief History

Cleethorpes for Anglican worship. Mr Jones proved to be a man of incredible energy. By 1856 he had not only built a vicarage, now part of St. Peter’s School, but also a day school for 300 pupils on the site of the present church Hall, and in this building Sunday services were held so that the Anglican Cleethorpes or ‘Meggies’, were no longer obliged to walk a mile of Old Clee. This achievement was remarkable in a village of some 850 people who were predominantly Methodists.

Mr Jones’ burning desire to build a daughter church on glebe land in Cleethorpes began to be realised with the laying of the foundation stone of St. Peter’s church by one of his fervent supporters, Alexander Grant Thorold, of Weelsby House, Clee on 2nd August 1864. A tower was built for he sum of £250 in time for the dedication of the church by Bishop Jackson, bishop of Lincoln, on 5th July 1866.

1872 - The clock in the tower was purchased by public subscription.

1876 - The organ was built by Foster and Andrews of Lincoln. It first stood under the tower at the east end of the north aisle, and it was not moved to its present position in a specially-built organ-chamber adjoining the chancel until 1907. The vestry was extended at the same time.

The most recent extension is the Narthex at the west end of the Church which provides a meeting room and toilet facilities.

The memorial to the servicemen who lost their lives on the Great War of 1914-18 is of Westmorland slate and is affixed to the north wall chancel facing the War Memorial Crucifix in the churchyard. At the same time a peal of tubular bells was installed in the tower.

The Features of the Church

At the back of the Church, just inside the Porch is the font. People pass by the font on the way into the Church. This is a reminder that baptism (also known as christening) is the way into membership of the worldwide Church. The font holds water that is poured over the head of a person being baptised.

The west door is used on special occasions. On her wedding day a bride walks though this door and up the central aisle of the nave.

Opposite the entrance porch is an area with books and toys for children.

Many of the stained glass windows at St. Peters have been rescued from other churches. In the past, when most people could not read, stained glass windows were like picture books, reminding people about their faith. In windows at St. Peter’s, Jesus is shown as the Light of the World and as The Good Shepherd.

An important part of Worship is hearing readings from the Bible. On Sundays members of the congregation read from the Bible and lead prayers at the lectern, the pulpit enables someone preaching a sermon to be seen and heard by the congregation. In a sermon the Bible is applied to life today.

At the steps leading up to the chancel couples sand to make their marriage vows. The coffin rests just in front of these steps during a funeral service.

In the chancel are the organ and seats for the choir.

At the east end of the Church is the holy table, also known as the high altar. This is used in the service of Holy Communion. Bread and wine are placed on the altar and consecrated in a prayer said by the priest. The prayer recalls the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples before his death and resurrection. Members of the congregation come to the rail in front of the altar the share consecrated bread and wine or to receive a personal prayer of blessing.

Above the high altar is the east window. This shows the disciples worshipping Jesus after his resurrection from the dead and just before he disappeared from their sight.

Nearby, another window shows Jesus raising a man called Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus walks from the tomb still wrapped in the grave cloths. This window is dedicated to the memory of William Price-Jones.

The Lady Chapel takes its name from “Our Lady” a title for Mary, the mother of Jesus. The window shows Jesus as a boy in carpenter’s shop in Nazareth, where he grew up. The window also shows St. Hugh, who was Bishop of Lincoln until his death in 1200 and worked to build Lincoln Cathedral. Also shown is St. Peter in front of a picture of St. Peter’s Church, Cleethorpes. The lady chapel is used for weekday services when there might be just a small congregation.

On the buttress next to the font is a prayer board on which anyone can add a note to ask for a person or situation to be prayed for at the services in St. Peter’s.

St. Peter’s Church is named after the Apostle Peter, a follower of Jesus and fisherman by trade. The church was built on the year 1866 in Victorian times when many people in Cleethorpes worked in the fishing industry.

Originally Peter’s name was Simon but Jesus gave him the name Peter. The meaning of the name is “rock”.

Peter recognised Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God – the special person sent by God to save his people sent by god to save his people. Following this confession of faith, Jesus said “Upon this rock will I build my church” and “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” Therefore, in church decoration, the crossed keys are a symbol of St. Peter/

On the night Jesus was arrested, Peter boasted that he would never desert him. However, as Jesus had predicted, when Peter challenged, three times he denied being a follower of Jesus. When a cock crowed Peter remembered Jesus’ prediction. He broke down and wept bitterly.

After Jesus had crucified, Peter was one of the first witnesses to the empty tomb and the resurrection. Despite his earlier denials, Jesus entrusted Peter with a leading role in the Church.

Peter travelled widely telling people about Jesus until he was executed because of this Crhistian faith. He is thought to have died in Rome about the year AD64.

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St. Peters Church, Cleethorpes
St. Peters Church, Cleethorpes

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