St Peter’s Church

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This is given 1* in Simon Jenkin’s England’s Thousand Best Churches for its Norman doorway. We were spending a day visiting redundant churches around Market Raisen in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust . As this was only a short way off our route, we added it to our list.

It is a beautiful honey coloured stone building dating from the 12thC. The building was restored in the 15thC when the windows were enlarged. There is a large square tower at the west end with battlements and tall pinnacles at the corners. The nave is also battlemented and there are pinacles at the east end and a small cross above the chancel. Walls are buttressed. The south porch was built later and has pinnacles and a cross. It partially obscures the edges of the Norman doorway.

This has a solid wooden door with three carved arches above the top. The inner arch has zigzag carving. The middle arch has a crenellated design. The outer arch is most unusual with birds heads with long beaks pointing outwards. On either side were big vases of Easter Lilies.

The church is still in use and was decorated for Easter. It is a warm and welcoming building. There are three pointed arches with round pillars leading into the north aisle. which has a children’s corner at the back and small altar at the east end with a painting of Jesus with small children above it.

At the back by the door is a Norman font which came from a demolished church in Grimsby. On the west wall are wooden boards with the ten Commandments.

The wooden roof in the nave has small carved heads at the base of the wooden arches. The pointed chancel arch has an elegant 15thC open carved rood screen with a small crucifix above. On the walls on either side are unusual carved stone roundels which seem decorative rather than functional.

The chancel has a large organ on the north wall. 19thC font and choir stalls with carved ends. On the south wall is the 14thC effigy of a priest in flowing vestments holding a chalice, under a canopy. His feet seem to be resting on a lion indicating he gave his life in service of his country. There are other memorial stones on the chancel walls.

There is a modern altar rail and the altar was covered with a cloth with a modern collage design with the three crosses on a hill. The wall beneath the east window is panelled. The window has a small image of Christ carrying the cross and small colourful roundels with flower designs. On the south wall of the chancel is a small square window with some medieval stained glass at the top.

This is a pleasant small church and worth stopping to see if in the area.

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