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A Visit to St. Peter’s Church
Their Majesties Chappell, St. Peter's Church in Bermuda
In the historic town of St. George, in Bermuda, is a beautiful and breathtaking church, known as St. Peter’s, the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity.
In this article, you will learn about the history of the church, and the many treasured artifacts, stained glass windows, sculptures and statues contained within St. Peter’s church.
Oldest Protestant Church in the World
St. Peter’s is the oldest Angelican church outside the British Isles, and the oldest Protestant church in the New World. It is located in the heart of the historic town of St. George, in Bermuda.
St. Peter’s is an integral part of the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site. St. George was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2000.
Inside St. Peter's Church
Upon entering St. Peter’s church, the structure is quite picturesque and the architecture is breathtaking.
Inside St. Peter’s church, there are beautiful stained glass windows, and magnificent religious sculptures and statues.
Stained Glass Windows
Beautiful Sculptures and Statues
In addition to the stone statues and sculptures, there are also special seating structures as the one pictured here to the right. Special seating boxes like this one were reserved for the special guests, including the Governor, or Sovereign, who were attending services.
Some of the stone statues in St. Peter's church were brought to Bermuda from London after World War II.
The baptismal font is made of Purbeck stone, which dates from around 1450 A.D. Purbeck stone refers to building stone from a series of limestone beds found in southern England. It was believed that the Purbeck stone was brought to Bermuda from England by the early settlers.
Interesting Facts About St. Peter’s Church, St. George, Bermuda
- Worshipers have gathered in St. Peter’s church since the town of St. George was founded in 1612. The church has a historic graveyard, with resting places for generations of governors, slaves and commoners. There are also memorials inside the Church, including Governor Alured Popple who died in 1744.
- Over time, the church has had to withstand storms and hurricanes. In 1713/14, after a devastating hurricane, the church was rebuilt and enlarged. The wood from the previous building was used, along with new limestone walls. The roof is made of limestone slate on a framework of Bermuda cedar wood. In 1908, there were renovations done throughout, which saved the church from collapse.
- The vestry, which is the place where clergy put on their vestments, and a place of storage for their robes and other sacred objects, contains historical displays including silver dating back to 1625.
- The communion table, which was made in 1612, is the oldest piece of Bermuda furniture.
- In 1815, a Triptych (which is wall art divided in three sections) with the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles’ Creed, was brought to St. Peter’s church in 1815. In 1988, the woodwork was replaced with Bermuda cedar wood.
- In 2008, archaeologists discovered the remains of Governor George James Brueue (1780) under the church.
- In 2009, the 200 year-old church clock in St. Peter’s church was restored and reinstalled in the church tower by Thwaites and Reed, one of the oldest clock manufacturing company in the world. The clock was made by Thwaites and Reed of London in 1815 and was originally intended for Portsmouth Dockyard, but instead was brought from England and installed in the tower.
- In 2012, her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, during her Diamond Jubilee year, and for the church’s 400th anniversary, honored the church with the name, “Their Majesties Chappell”. This title was first used in the 17th century during the reign of King William and Queen Mary.