St Peter's still has the feel of what it was until recent times: a village church. It serves the fastest growing area of Droitwich, with different housing estates around it, but is bounded not only by and extensive and peaceful churchyard, but playing fields and the Lido park. In close proximity to the Church of England voluntary aided St Peter's First School, it provides the nearest thing the new housing developments have to a centre for the area.
A brief history
Although there was a Saxon church on the site, no traces of it now remain. The current building does, however, still retain parts of the Norman building, of which the chancel arch provides a fine example of its type. The church was extended in the 12th century with a south aisle, later truncated to a south transept, which is now a Lady chapel. The south east window contains a very old example of stained glass work. The north transept was added in the 14th century.
The nave was later drastically altered in the time of Henry VII, and a new roof put on, which fits through a rather odd but fine half-timbered clerestory.
Perhaps the most signifcant memorial in the church, which draws visitors especially from the United States, is that to Edward Winslow, born in St Peter's parish in 1595, and one of the Pilgrim Fathers who sailed on the Mayflower. He served three times as governor of the Plymouth colony, and brought the first domestic cattle to America. The detail to the right is a from a portrait by an anonymous London artist, painted in 1651. It is the only portrait of any of the Pilgrim Fathers actually painted from life. The vestry built onto the church in 1973 was dedicated to his memory.
The tower was built in 1500AD, although the west doorway was cut later. St Peter's has a peal of six bells, and three of these are of considerable age. There is no ringing chamber, but ringers stand in the space uder the tower at the back of the church.
The church today
St Peter's has a thriving congregation of all ages with the Morning Worship held on two Sundays each month, being "Family Friendly", and a children's "Sunday Club" taking place during Holy Eucharist on the other Sundays. All these services are at 9.30am and our aim is to offer lively, informal worship with a warm welcome and Christian teaching for all ages.
The church is a popular venue for weddings, not least because of the attractive lych gate pictured to the left. But St Peter's situation as the church that serves the newer housing area of the town also means that it is the church most attended by younger couples and families, and therefore the majority of baptisms and weddings take place in this church.
There are strong connections between the Church and the school, and the church appoints a number of governors to the school. The school also holds regular services in the church.
The Winslow vestry is also the site for the St Peter's Pre-School group which meets there throughout the week. This is an independent pre-school but with close links with the church.
St Peter's Church is always open in the daytime for visitors to drop in, and look around or pray.