Illustrated tour part 5 - churchyard and St. Peter's Centre

The churchyard

The churchyard of St Peter's Church, NottinghamThe churchyard was closed for burial in 1848 and a large slice on the north side was carved off to enable St Peter's Gate to be doubled in width. In 1965 about twenty feet were sacrificed at the west end to widen St Peter's Square, and Marks & Spencer's store was extended northwards over St Peter's Church Side which had run along the south side of the churchyard. At that time the store extension was covered by a piazza at the same level as the churchyard, but this secluded area became a wilderness and prone to vandalism. With the further extension of the store over the piazza and the construction of the St Peter's Centre in 1997-98, the churchyard has become a garden, overlooked (from inside the store) and with gates locked at night. In recent years the churchyard has been reopened for the interment of cremated remains.


The St Peter's Centre

The St Peter's Centre, NottinghamMarks and Spencer approached St Peter's in 1993 concerning their plans for extension and possible service to the church, at a time when we were considering how the church might adapt to suit the needs of the city, particularly in providing a listening ear. This was indeed providential. The Centre, on which the church has been granted a 999 year lease (unusual in the commercial world), consists of a meeting room and office accommodation on the first floor, and catering facilities and a coffee room / larger meeting room on the ground floor. These fine new facilities are now being used to extend the Church's ministry to those who use the City Centre.


The coffee room

The coffee room of the St Peter's Centre, NottinghamLunches have been provided on weekdays in the St James Room of the church since 1981 when a small kitchen was built in the space under the organ. This service has proved very popular; and the new accommodation now offers more space, easier access for the public in St Peter's Square, and a fine view of the church garden.

Read about the dedication of the St Peter's Centre.


The living church

The living church of St Peter's, NottinghamIn his guide, Allan Derry concludes "it would be wrong to leave you with the impression that the Church of God is made of bricks and mortar. St Peter's is a living community of people who are drawn together from all walks of life by their desire to pattern their way of living on the life of Jesus of Nazareth. We believe that God has called us, accepted us as we are, forgiven us and strengthened us. Day by day, week by week, for over nine hundred years, people have come to this building to hear the words of the Gospel, to share their moments of joy and sorrow, and to dedicate their lives afresh to God; in the hope and the belief that they might be used by Him in the extension of His Kingdom of Peace and Righteousness in this troubled world."

Part one
Part two
Nave and chancel
Part three
North aisle
Part four
South aisle

The text is adapted from the Church Guide written by the late Allan Derry.

You may also be interested in reading David Marshall's article on the history of the Church building.
St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 6th May 1999