St Peter's Church website

St Peter's Church

St Peter’s Church, North Hayling is hosting the Poppy Cascade located in our graveyard,and an exhibition of life on Hayling Island during WW1 with various poppy displays inside the church. St Peter’s is a 12th century church and the oldest building in use on Hayling Island.

Under William the Conqueror, the church and tithes of Hayling Island passed from the monks of Winchester to the Abbey of Jumièges in Normandy. A prior and monks were sent to England to establish the abbey’s claim and it is likely that they ministered to the old church in South Hayling. Later, in about 1140, Northwode Chapel was built by the monks of Jumieges and this became the present St Peter’s Church.

St Peter’s celebrates being built in the 12th century with other great Christian buildings such as the Notre Dame Cathedral which was consecrated (1182) and the start of the building programme for Chartres Cathedral (1194) -two beautiful cathedrals in France demonstrating gothic architecture, with its pointed arches and high vaulted ceilings.

The structure of St Peter’s church has altered little since it was originally buil. In 2000 The Ark was added to give the church a small meeting room, galley kitchen and toilet.

In 1998 St Peter’s was offered a Father Willis organ. It was known as the Barlaston Organ and was built by Henry Willis and Sons of Petersfield for the Wedgewood (pottery) family in 1890 for its church in Barlaston, Staffordshire.

In the graveyard on the north side of the church is a yew tree which is believed to be about eight hundred years old. To mark the millennium, two small yew trees, grown from cuttings of an ancient yew tree at Canterbury Cathedral, were planted in the churchyard by the then Bishop of Chichester.

The grave of Princess Youriesvsky (1980 – 1959), who was a member of the ill-fated Russian Royal family and lived in North Hayling for many years, may be found in the church year near the car park.

There is one war grave from WW1 in St Peter’s graveyard.

By the lychgate you will see our war memorial. It takes the form of an obelisk. The parishoners of North Hayling decided they would collect donations to enable it to be built. This as a considerable undertaking for such a small parish. An appeal was launched in late 1917, and Mr Hedger, a local builder was engaged to undertake the work. By 1922 sufficient funds had been raised and the Obelisk was constructed and the names of seventeen local men inscribed. Following WW2 an additional thirteen names were inscribed on the memorial.

During the For the Fallen event there was an exhibition in The Ark and the church and flower arrangers mounted poppy displays. Among the poppies which were incorporatedwere some carved from a branch of the ancient yew tree in the churchyard, which had to be removed some years ago.