Nave and Chancel Memorials
The main entrance to St Peter’s is from the west, and so the porch is also the base of the tower. The wooden panelling on the left as you enter bears the dedication:
IN LOVING MEMORY OF CHARLES TRIFFIT WARD 27 YEARS VICAR OF THIS PARISH
Fixed to that panelling is a modest plaque reading:
IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF
BORN 1865 – DIED 1940
CHURCHWARDEN 1921 – 1939
There are two other memorials in the porch, both referring to work that has been carried out on the building, and written in gothic text. The first reads:
The installation of the
Guildford Chimes was the gift of
the Vicar Rev. C. Triffit Ward
in memory of Elizabeth Nisbet
his beloved Wife AD 1913
The second reads:
The Ancient South Door of this
Church and the Clock Chiming work
were renovated in memory of
John Bawtree and Helen his wife
by their daughter Lucy Jane
in the year 1913
The clock no longer chimes, as the Town Hall clock has a chime which can be heard clearly in this part of the town. It is not known when the chimes were disconnected, but it is likely that they have not worked since the outbreak of the Second World War.
On the southern side of the main entrance is a wooden plaque listing the
Vicars of St Peter’ Church which is headed:
St Peter’s Church
Rectors & Vicars
The Church of St Peter is mentioned in Domesday Book in 1086 & was then possessed by two unnamed priests.
The actual list is transcribed here. Attached to the plaque is a dedication which reads:
TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN MEMORY
OF GEORGE LOYD
WHO DIED A.D. 1917 AND OF ALICE
HIS WIFE WHO DIED A.D. 1881
THIS TABLET IS ERECTED BY THEIR CHILDREN
Located on the western wall just to the north of the main entrance to the church is The War Memorial.
TO THE GLORY OF GOD
AND IN MEMORY OF THE
OFFICERS, NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS AND MEN OF THIS PARISH AND
CONGREGATION, WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR OF A.D. 1914-1918
|W. BYGRAVE, H.M.S. COCKCHAFER||A. ISAACS, H.M.S. HOGUE|
|V.C. CLEMENTS, H.M.S. STRONGBOW||H.A. PEAKE, H.M.S. PRINCESS IRENE|
S. USHER, H.M.S. GOOD HOPE
|LIEUTENANTS||–||E.J. BRAND, F. PUNG HAZELL|
|SERGEANTS||–||R.J. AUSTIN, F COOK, J.W. GREEN D.C.M.|
|"||F. FOSTER, C.V. ROONEY, F. STYLES|
|CORPORALS||–||H. DAVIS, G. GIBSON, C. SANSOM, D.G. WESTON|
|L. CORPORALS||–||P.W. DAVIS, M. HOGAN, A.W. NORMAN|
|GUNNERS||–||H.F. DINES, T. ELLISON, A.V. STONEBRIDGE|
|PRIVATES||–||T. APPLEBY, J.H. DAVEY, R.R.GOMER, A.A. MILLS,|
|"||J. NORFOLK, A.J. POTTER, A.V. SARGENT,|
|"||W.H. SPARKES, F.W. SHYNN, C. THOMAS,|
|"||E.E. THOMAS, H.G. TINKLER, A. TURRELL|
“FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH.” REV. XI. 10.
On the southern side of the chancel arch is a small plaque which reads:
TO OUR GLORIOUS DEAD
THIS FLAG FROM THE CENOTAPH
WAS DEPOSITED FOR HALLOWED
KEEPING BY THE
O. C. ASSOCIATION
14TH MAY 1946
“WE WILL REMEMBER THEM”
Unfortunately the Old Contemptibles’ flag was stolen in 1987.
There is only one other memorial in the nave, high up on the south side between two of the arches of the colonnade.
TO THE MEMORY OF
CAPTAINS B.FENWICK, HON: C.AGAR
W.H. MANSFIELD & F.W.CAULFIELD
WHO WERE KILLED 18TH JUNE 1855
DIED AT BALAKLAVA 15TH OCTOBER 1854,
M.BRADFORD, DIED 1856
ASSISTANT SURGEON J.THOMSON
DIED AT BALAKLAVA, 5TH OCTOBER 1854
18 SERJEANTS 12 DRUMMERS
AND 420 RANK AND FILE
WHO WERE KILLED
OR DIED OF WOUNDS OR DISEASE
DURING THE WAR IN THE CRIMEA
DOING THEIR DUTY UNDER THE COLOURS
WHICH HANG OVER THIS STONE
The absence of the colours (regimental flags) is explained by the addition below the memorial of another stone which reads:
THE COLOURS WERE RETURNED
TO THE REGIMENT
The brass eagle lectern carries a memorial inscription as follows:
TO THE GLORY OF GOD
AND IN LOVING MEMORY OF
GEORGE AGER AND ELLEN SARAH HIS WIFE
THIS LECTERN IS PRESENTED TO ST PETER’S CHURCH
BY ARTHUR MARK AGER, THEIR SON, NOV 1906
On the two reading desks are matching inscriptions as follows:
|+ IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF||+ IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF|
|ALICE ELIABETH LOYD||REBECCA ADA LOYD|
|WHO DIED 7TH MAY 1950||WHO DIED 28TH DEC 1947|
|AGED 82 YEARS A LIFELONG||AGED 77 YEARS A LIFELONG|
|WORSHIPPER AT THIS CHURCH||WORSHIPPER AT THIS CHURCH|
The carved oak communion rails bear the inscription:
+ IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF +
SEPTIMUS STANLEY CHURCH WHO DIED 10 JUNE 1952
AGED 65 YEARS CHURCHWARDEN OF THIS PARISH
The Bishop’s chair carries on its reverse the inscription:
A J C
On the south wall is the memorial to George Sayer who died in 1577. The monument represents the effigies of five male figures, and as many females, kneeling on opposite sides of a kind of altar table, beneath a pediment supported by Corinthian columns, and bearing the arms of the SAYER family at the top. The epitaph beneath it is very difficult to read, but a pamphlet of 1880 transcribed it as follows:
O happie hoared heares that here in grave doth lye,
Whose body resteth nowe in earth, his ghost with Christ on hie
His youthfull race he ran with travayle and with troth,
His myddle and his aged years with wealth and worship both.
Full thyrtye years or more cheefe rule or place he bare
In this his native auncient Towne, whereof he had great care.
With Justice he did rule, and eke with mercy myld,
With love he lyved many years of man woman and chylde.
A Monument he made for ever to remain
For ayde to poor and aged wights, which are oppress’d with payne.
Posteritie he had to his great joye of mind,
His place and portion to possesse, which he hath left behynde.
O happie Sayer, not for theis thinges alone,
Which were but mundane, vayne, and vyle, and fade, and fayle eche one:
But happier thousande-folde to lyve and love those dayes
Wherein Goddes gospell brightlye shynes to his eternall prayse.
Thy oft desired wyshe thou doubtless didest obtayne,
With Symeon to departe in peace, and lyfe by death to gayne.
Thy ofspringe may rejoice for this thy happye ende:
Thy friends and tenaunts all are gladd that God such grace did send.
And we, that yet remayne within this vale of teares,
By thine example maye be taught for to contemne all fears,
And always for to praye that God our stepps so gvyde
That we lykewise may hence depart in endlesse blisse to byde.
The reference to “Symeon” is to refers to an event recorded in the second chapter of Luke’s Gospel, where the elderly Simeon declares that he can die happy now that he has seen the promised Christ child. His song of praise is still used in worship as the Nunc Dimittis.
Above this is another memorial in the shape of a wreath, which once had the leaves painted gold. However, the writing has faded with age, and it is now illegible from the ground.
The other memorial on the south wall is the largest in the church and was “erected by voluntary contributions in 1843”. It records the religious persecutions under Queen Mary, and is headed by the words “THE NOBLE ARMY OF MARTYRS PRAISE THEE”, a quotation from the Te Deum, an early Christian hymn still in regular use in worship. The main text reads:
In Memory of
THOSE BLESSED MARTYRS FOR CHRIST
Who during the reign of Queen Mary
WERE BURNED ALIVE IN THIS TOWN OF COLCHESTER
For their firm adherence to
THE PROTESTANT FAITH.
A Priest and sometime a Black Friar
having been degraded and condemned by Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London
was burned March 29th 1555.
suffered June 14th 1555.
CHRISTOPHER LYSTER, JOHN MACE, JOHN SPENCER,
SIMON JOYNE, RICHD. NICHOLS, and JOHN HAMOND,
were burned alive for the testimony of the Gospel
April 28th, 1556.
WM. BONGEOR, WM. PURCAS, THOS. BENOLD,
AGNES SILVERSlDE, HELEN EWRING, AND ELIZTH. FOLKES,
were burned outside the Town Wall
August 2nd 1557
And WM. MUNT, JOHN JOHNSON, ALICE MUNT, and
on the same day suffered in like manner in the Castle Bailey.
MARGARET THURSTON, and AGNES BONGEOR,
were burned alive
Sept. 17th 1557.
WM. HARRIES, RICHARD DAY, and CHRISTIANA GEORGE
suffered martyrdom by fire
May 26th 1558
for the defence and testimony of Christ’s Gospel.
in Memory of
JOHN THURSTON and others
who died in Colchester Castle and other prisons of this town being
"Constant Confessors of Jesus Christ."
"They loved not their lives unto the death."
Rev. vi. 9-ll. Rev. iii. 11.
On the north wall of the chancel are three memorials, the largest, and the one furthest east being that to Martin Basil and his wife Elizabeth. Their carved effigies kneel, facing each other across a prayer desk, and their children are shown kneeling in a panel below. Some of the children hold a skull, so died before their parents. The dedication, once painted in gold letters, has almost completely faded away, but a transcription from 1880 records that it once read:
Here vnder lies interred ye bodies of MARTIN BASIL
sometime Alderman of this Towne, whoe departed this
lyfe the 23 of March, 1623, and ELIZABETH his Wyfe who
deceased the 30 of October, 1625. They had yssew
betweene them 6 sonnes and seven davghters, being
neither of them either otherwise married.
They lived lovingly together 43 years in holy wedlock
in the feare of God and in good name
or the last word might be fame.
High up on this north wall of the chancel is a stone that reads:
In Memory of
The REVD ROBT. STORRY
who departed this life Jany 18 1814 in the 65th year of his age
He was Vicar of this Parish thirty three Years and lies interred by the side
of his Children in the adjoining Church Yard.
Reader! when this Memorial of Mortality meets thine Eyes O! may it
excite this prayer! So teach me O Lord to number my Days that I may
apply my Heart unto Wisdom – that Wisdom which leads to God
by a knowledge of Salvation thro’ the Atonement of Christ.
Such was the Doctrine which this faithful Pastor delighted
to proclaim to fallen Sinners; it was his own Hope in Death
And being dead he yet speaketh.
Also of ELIZABETH Relict
of the above Revd ROBERT STORRY
who departed this Life January 7th 1824
in the 80th Year of her Age
and lies interred in the same tomb.
A Wife eminently worthy of such a Husband.
Below this is a record of another of the former Vicars of St Peter’s Church:
IN MEMORY OF
SAMUEL CARR, M.A.,
LATE VICAR OF THIS PARISH
AND SOMETIME FELLOW
OF QUEEN’S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE
JUNE 17TH 1854 AGED 63.
CALLED IN THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD
TO MINISTER IN HIS NATIVE TOWN
HE HELD THE CHARGE OF THIS PARISH
FOR TWENTY FIVE YEARS
DURING WHICH TIME
HE FAITHFULLY PREACHED THE GOSPEL
SETTING FORTH CHRIST
AS THE ONLY REFUGE FOR SINNERS
DECLARING THE WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD
AND SHEWING TO ALL MEN
THE GENTLENESS UNCORRUPTNESS
GRAVITY AND SINCERITY
OF THE CHRISTIAN PASTOR
IN GRATEFUL AND AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE
OF HIS WORTH
THIS MONUMENTAL STONE IS ERECTED
BY HIS PARISHIONERS.
And finally, at the most Easterly point in the building, and as a symbol of the love God has for us, is a cross. This cross is made of wood and on the reverse bears a small plate with the inscription:
IN MEMORY OF
Born 4th June 1896
Died 11th July 1941