St Peter's Chapel
St Peter’s Chapel dates from the thirteenth century, and is the oldest part of Holy Trinity easily accessible today. It has three original lancet windows and a large window in its south gable, known as ‘the American window’, the money for its installation having been raised by appeals to American donors at the end of the nineteenth century. The lancet windows contain fine modern glass, and the American window – unveiled by the US ambassador in 1896 – contains panels representing among other things the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers, and inscriptions commemorating pioneers of American colonisation.
The Chapel was previously divided into two parts by a screened-off clergy vestry at the south end, which has been moved into a new extension to the Church. The removal of the vestry has allowed us to restore and refurbish the Chapel, re-establishing its ancient dimensions and providing a sacred space for small group worship, both for the congregation and the wider community. This includes daily services, and provides a venue for weddings with a small attendance, and for renewals of wedding vows, as well as for private prayer.
The Chapel was re-dedicated in 1920 in memory of those who fell in the First World War. It contains memorial tablets to the fallen, including one commemorating personnel of the Royal Shakespeare Company. The restoration included moving the vestry screen to the south wall, the repair and refurbishment of an unusual late sixteenth-century tomb with its inscription in four languages (English, Hebrew, Greek and Latin), and the restoration of a medieval altar recess and a notable arts-and-crafts aumbry with enamel-work decoration. In addition, we have relocated the altar donated in memory of Dennis Spiller and provided new seating, and furnishings.