The Rectors of St Peter's Church
Part Four: 1853 - today
1853 - 1866
William Howard was already 64 when he followed White Almond at St Peter's. He was one
of the first curates of St James' Church, Standard Hill 1820-25, then curate at Arnold
1825-40; he then became the first minister of the new church of St John, Leenside,
Nottingham (demolished after being bombed in 1941). He spent 13 years at St Peter's,
before resigning to become rector of Clifton - at the age of 77. He died there seven years
later, in 1873. "Few men have led a more consistent life" said his obituary.
Like White Almond he had a window (on the south side of the chancel) erected in his memory
by Dr. Isaac Massey (1809-91), a well known Nottingham doctor.
1866 - 1870
David Whalley was born in 1815 or 1816, and studied at Trinity College, Dublin; he had
been curate at St Mary's, Nottingham for a year before becoming minister of St John's,
Carrington, Nottingham in 1849. He then came to St Peter's in 1866, but died in March
1870 at the age of 54. He was buried at Carrington where he had spent 17 years compared
with less than four at St Peter's.
1870 - 1906
George Edgcome was born in Madras, the son of George Edgcome, a Cornish surgeon. He was
educated at Cambridge and served as curate in two Cornish parishes, St Ives 1855-58 and
St Gluvias 1858-61, then as vicar of Penwerris 1861-70. The contrast presented by
Nottingham in 1870 must have been considerable, but Edgcome remained at St Peter's
years, much loved by his congregation and undertaking the major rebuilding of the chancel
and other parts of the church. The fine west window in the tower commemorates him: he died
in February 1906, and was buried in the Church Cemetery (Forest Road).
In 1898 during his time as rector, Nottingham Forest Football Club won the Cup. This
was borne in triumph by the team from the Midland Station, and the ringers of
St Peter's rang the bells on that Thursday evening. Edgcome heard them, and when next he saw the
steeple keeper he chaffed him about the ringing night. He said that as it had been done
without his permission the ringers should continue to ring on a Thursday night, and this
has been done ever since. On another occasion Edgcome visited a bookmaker for a donation.
The man was ill in bed and his wife called up the stairs "Rector's here and he's
asking ye for a subscription; how much shall I give 'im?" The reply came down
"Give 'im a pony". The rector became confused and said he would not know what to
do with it. The wife called up the stairs "He don't want a pony", whereupon her
husband retorted "Give the old fool a fiver". Edgcome went away not knowing that
he had turned down twenty pounds.
Arthur Watson Dewick
1906 - 1918
Arthur Dewick was one of many of the rectors to be educated at Queen's College,
Cambridge. He began his career in London, as curate of St Stephen's, Coleman Street
1879-83, then came to Nottingham as curate of New Radford. He was vicar of New Basford
before succeeding Edgcome at St Peter's in 1906. After serving in the city for most of
the First World War he sought peace by exchanging the living for Hartington (Derbyshire),
where he served as vicar 1918-24. He died at Leamington in June 1941, presumably in his
Herbert Percy Hale
1918 - 1931
Percy Hale had had a very wide range of experience before coming to St Peter's.
Educated at St Edmund's Hall, Oxford, he served as curate at St Peter's, Mansfield
1895-98, St Mary, Lowgate, Hull 1898-1901, and Bakewell 1901-03. He then spent four years
as chaplain to the Rhodesian Railways (in what is now Zambia and Zimbabwe), before
returning briefly to run the Derbyshire Church Extension. He then went to Australia and
served as vicar to various churches in Victoria, at St Peter's Wineham, at Boonah 1909-10
and at Tingalpa (Brisbane) 1910-14; while there he took an MA degree at the University of
Queensland. From Brisbane he returned to Derbyshire and became vicar of Hartington in
1914, then exchanged livings with Arthur Dewick of St Peter's in 1918.
His surviving writings (partly being published in St Peter's Magazine 1991)
give a picture of his attitude and the problems he found in adjusting to his new urban
parish, at that time poor and overshadowed by St Mary's, but with a significant
proportion of professional people in the congregation. His churchmanship was
"higher" than that of his predecessors, but he seems to have persuaded his
congregation to accept change and built up a new pattern of services and a strong choral
tradition which continues today. It was in his time, too, that major restoration of the
church building took place, including the rebuilding of the south aisle and clerestory.
Hale retired from St Peter's on grounds of ill-health in February 1931, and died in
December 1940. The church remained without a rector for two years until the parish of St.
James', Standard Hill was joined to St Peter's; during this time the churchwardens James
Forman and Joseph Bramley acted as "sequestrators".
Herbert Victor Turner
1933 - 1936
Victor Turner was nominated as rector-designate of St Peter's in 1933, and was
instituted in 1934 following the transfer of the St James' congregation. He was born in
1888, and had served several churches in the county: as curate at Sutton-in-Ashfield
1913-17 and at St Mary's, Nottingham 1917-19, then as vicar of St Anne, Worksop 1919-28
and of the joint parish of St John with St James, Nottingham 1928-34. This last was a
union of the Leenside church that William Howard had served eighty years before with the
church on Standard Hill (near St Peter's Rectory). The two parishes were separated in
December 1933: St James' was joined to St Peter's and Turner moved to the ancient church
as rector. (St James' Church formally closed in 1935 and was demolished in 1936.) The
union of the two congregations led to a revival in the fortunes of St Peter's.
Turner stayed only three years before becoming Archdeacon of Nottingham in 1936; he was
made a canon of Southwell in 1937 and became vicar of Radcliffe-on-Trent in 1940 while
remaining Archdeacon. In 1944 he was consecrated Bishop Suffragan of Penrith and held that
position (as well as Archdeacon of Furness) until 1958; he also served as vicar of
Hawkshead 1944-55. In 1958 he retired, and died in 1968. A tablet in the ringing chamber
in St Peter's tower commemorates his time as rector.
Thomas Arnold Lee
1937 - 1948
Arnold Lee was born in 1889. He was a Durham graduate who had taught in schools in
Cambridge, Singapore and Leeds; he had also served as a curate in Southwark Cathedral and
at Leeds. During the First World War he had been a chaplain to HM Forces. Before coming to
St Peter's he was first vicar of St Margaret's, Leicester 1923-27, and minister of
Chapel Allerton 1927-37. He served St Peter's throughout the Second World War and did
much to make it a centre of peace and rest for those in need of comfort and support. He
resigned from St Peter's in 1948 to become rector of Gedling with Stoke Bardolph
(1948-57), and was made a canon of Southwell in 1955. He then retired to Buckinghamshire,
where he was vicar of Grendon Underwood and Edgcott 1957-61. He died in 1972.
Angus Inglis (pronounced Ingles) was born in 1908. He was educated at St John's
College, Oxford, and at Westcott House, Cambridge. He served as curate at St John Baptist, Peterborough 1931-34, and at St Mary's,
Nottingham 1934-37, and was then Perpetual Curate of St Faith's, Wilford 1937-45. He was
a chaplain to HM Forces (TA) from 1938 to the end of the War, serving with the South
Notts. Hussars and other units. He was mentioned in dispatches in 1945, and awarded the
Territorial Decoration in 1946. After the war he became rector of Cotgrave for three years
before coming to St Peter's in 1948. He stayed for 31 years - the longest since George
Edgcome left in 1906 - and saw many changes at St Peter's, many of them through his own
Much work went into beautifying the church - redecoration of the roofs of the Victorian
chancel and the nave, the fine windows in the north aisle and baptistry, a new pulpit,
re-ordering the sanctuary and the design of new altar silver, the splendid west door, and
much else. In all this the Church's traditions and history, and a search for beauty in the
service of God, inspired his thinking.
Through most of the 1960s however, much of Angus Inglis' energy had to go into secular
negotiations: first with the City Council and the developers of the Broad Marsh Centre,
which swallowed up the old parish hall and the disused burial ground as well as the slums
where so much of St Peter's work had been done in centuries gone by. Then came the
redevelopment of St Peter's Square and the extension of Marks & Spencer's store:
again involving much delicate negotiation and public concern at the loss of parts of the
churchyard. Both developments were brought to a satisfactory conclusion, but only after
the rector had had to promote two private Acts of Parliament to secure the church's
interests. Further effort went into the replacing of the old Levick Almshouses in the
Meadows, part of St Peter's charities since 1879.
This concern for the church's fabric and property did not detract from Canon Inglis'
love for his people and concern for their spiritual health. With his wife Kathleen (the
elder sister of Lord Runcie, sometime Archbishop of Canterbury, whose own spiritual
development owes something to Angus Inglis' encouragement) he built up a quiet and
effective pastoral ministry and continued a strong tradition of worship, keeping
St Peter's in the forefront of the city's life. He was much concerned with education, both at
the Bluecoat School and at Nottingham University, where he contributed to the work of the
School of Education and retained many friends.
Canon Inglis retired from St Peter's in 1979 to live in Belton, Lincolnshire - he died
on 27 September 1992 and is buried in the churchyard there.
Malcolm Goldsmith was born in Yorkshire in 1939 and studied social science at
Birmingham University, before training for the ministry at Ripon Hall, Oxford. He was a
curate at St Paul's, Balsall Heath 1962-64, and then worked as chaplain to Aston
University 1964-72. In 1973 he came to Nottinghamshire as advisor to the Bishop of
Southwell on Industrial Society, then was curate at St Martin's, Sherwood 1978-79. He
followed Angus Inglis as rector of St Peter's in 1979.
His time saw new directions in worship and service: the introduction of the Alternative
Service Book in 1981 (without the disappearance of the Prayer Book!), the appointment of
Deaconess Gillian Deave, who as a Deacon was to be the first ordained woman to serve at
St Peter's, the first televised service from the church, and a growing involvement of the
congregation at large in the affairs of the church and city.
Malcolm Goldsmith resigned from St Peter's in 1985. He was for a short time
priest-in-charge of All Saints', Nottingham, and later became General Secretary of
International Voluntary Service, then personal executive assistant to the Bishop of
Bradford. In 1991 he moved to Scotland to work half-time as a Research Fellow at Stirling
University and half-time assisting at St John's Episcopal Church, Princes Street,
Edinburgh. In 1994 he became Rector of St Cuthbert's Episcopal Church, Colinton,
Edinburgh. He maintains an interest in dementia, the area of his research.
E-mail: Malcolm dot Goldsmith at btinternet dot com
Leslie James Morley
1985 - 1999
Leslie Morley was born in Bolton in 1945. He studied theology at King's
College, London, and took degrees of BD and MTh. He was curate of St Peter's, Spring
Hill, Birmingham 1969-72, and of St Mary the Boltons, London 1972-74. Like Malcolm
Goldsmith he then turned to the academic world and became chaplain at Nottingham
University 1974-80. He left the University to become Canon Residentiary and Vice-Provost
at Southwell Minster 1980-85, and also served as diocesan director of post-ordination
training. He moved to St Peter's in July 1985 and was appointed an honorary canon of
Southwell at the same time.
During his time St Peter's developed further as a city centre church,
including the starting of the Commercial Chaplaincy. The ministry of women
was further developed, and links with Africa and new forms of worship such as the Taizé service were
introduced. Leslie also oversaw the Marks & Spencer development including
the construction of the St Peter's Centre. He resigned from St Peter's in 1999 and there is an appreciation of his time as Rector elsewhere on this site.
E-mail: leslie dot morley at virgin dot net
St Peter's Rectory in King Charles Street, Standard Hill, is half of the former
mansion house of the Freeth family, now shared with St Mary's Vicarage. The house was
erected between 1808 and 1810. It came to St Peter's early in the twentieth century,
replacing a rectory house in St Peter's Church Walk, the site of which is now part of
Marks & Spencers. Other earlier homes of rectors are referred to above.
This list of St Peter's rectors is based on the late Keith S. S. Train's "List of
the clergy of Central Nottinghamshire, part 2" (Thoroton Society Record Series,
vol. 15, 1953), pp. 42-47; permission to use this material is gratefully acknowledged.
Train's references to episcopal records and other sources have not been repeated. Most of
the records of the institution of rectors are in the registers of the Archbishops of York;
many of the medieval registers have been published by the Surtees Society, whose Testamenta
Eboracense has also been used for early wills. Other supplementary information has
been taken from Records of the Borough of Nottingham, the Nottingham Journal
and other newspapers, and Crockford's Clerical Directory. Other sources not cited
in detail include Emden's Biographical Register of the University of Cambridge and
Venn's Alumni Cantabrigienses. Two rectors, John Plough the younger and John
Barret, appear in the Dictionary of National Biography. The Diary of Abigail
Gawthern, edited by Adrian Henstock (Thoroton Society Record Series, vol. 33,
1980) contains much anecdotal information about rectors of the period 1751-1810.
The resources of the Hallward Library at the University of Nottingham, the Local
Studies Library at Nottingham Central Library, and the Nottinghamshire Archives Office
have been invaluable. So has the support of the St Peter's History Group, whose earlier
publications, The Windows of St Peter's (1986) and The Monuments of
St Peter's (1990), provide further information about those rectors who are commemorated in the
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