Help Raise St Peter’s From the Ashes
On the morning of Thursday 19th June 2014, the 800 year old St Peter’s Church in Ropley was almost completely destroyed in a catastrophic fire. The devastation was extensive, almost nothing of the interior or roof has survived – even the contents of the church safe were exposed to such heat that only fragments of the register survived.
This website has been set up to become the focus for information and fundraising and also to collect photographs that act as an historical record of the church “pre-fire”. A complimentary (or “sister”) website – StPetersRopley.org.uk will focus on the ongoing Christian worship in Ropley, with details of services, ministry and all the “normal” functions of an Anglican church community.
The church has been severely damaged and virtually everything inside it has been destroyed, including the organ, altar, pulpit, tapestry kneelers and irreplaceable historic records and photographs.
The flint walls and part of the tower are still standing. The oldest part of the church (the tower and South Chapel) and the porch have survived the best. The safety of the bell tower had caused concern whilst the bells were still in position as it was not known how strong the charred oak beams supporting them were. The bells have now been removed for safe-keeping and assessment. (Note, click on any image to get a larger version)
Click on this image to see aerial images captured by drone just after the fire:
This Fire Brigade video shows the full horror:
A poignant footnote — The Church Clock
On April 30th, 1902, a meeting was held to consider what steps, if any, should be taken to celebrate the Coronation of His Majesty, King Edward VII. Mr. R. C. Turner, Chairman of the Parish Council, presided.
Later on it was decided that a church clock, with two dials, if possible, should be erected.
The clock was officially started at noon on Wednesday, October 7th, 1903, and dedicated at the evening service on Sunday, October 18th, when an impressive sermon on “The value of time” was preached by the Vicar, the Rev. W. H. Leak.
After over 110 years it dramatically stopped at eleven minutes past ten on the morning of Thursday, June 19th, 2014 and remains as a sad reminder of that dreadful day.