Short History of St Peter's Church, Awsworth

The first known purpose built church of Awsworth was part of the site of St Peter’s built around 1746.

It was commissioned by the Earl of Stamford and was built by Richard Smedley who donated the sum of £5 per year for “teaching the poor”, this continued until the late 1990’s at the reduced rate of £2 per year.

Photo of Awsworth Church Building

Teacher’s Desk

The Richard Smedley donation enabled the now “church vestry” to continue as a school room during the week days.

The “church part” known as the Chapel of Ease, was added in 1879 and became the chancel when a new nave was built in 1902.

The school teacher’s desk is still being used today and can be found at the back of church just behind the entrance door.

Photo of the teacher's desk

Notes from the Church Magazine of 1894

Records for July and August of that year showed:

  •  14  Baptisms
  •  3   Marriages
  •  5   Burials (4 of which were aged 2 and under)

An article written in the same Magazine of 1894, talks of the distress caused by children playing in the churchyard. The vicar writes, “If parents had only a proper control of their children … “

Photo of St Peter's Churchyard

Choir Stalls

In 1902 a new nave was built at a cost of £2000 and it was the Rev. Higgins sister-in-law, Miss Frideswide Worthington who generously paid the remaining £800 to complete the work.

She was also responsible for the wood carvings which can be found on the choir stalls and pulpit: these were initially made by Mr Henry Thornhill a local carpenter and undertaker.

The foundation stone for the nave was laid by Sir Henry Bemrose the nave being consecrated by the Bishop of Derby on the 24th March 1904.

Wood carvings on the choir stalls by Miss F Worthington

In 1910 the bell turret was added to commemorate King Edward V11. The bell dated 1912 weighs 3.5 cwt and was donated in memory of the Towson family who were local land owners: the family graves can be found in the churchyard.

War Memorial

1920 saw the addition in the churchyard of the War Memorial which was unveiled by Lt.Col. Terry: the son of Rev. Michael Terry, vicar of Awsworth 1866-1905.

The War Memorial

Stained Glass Window

In 1957 the reordering of the church included a new chancel and stained glass window depicting Jesus, St Peter and St Paul and was consecrated in 1958.

Other interests:

  • The Sanctuary chair is thought to be one of the oldest fittings of the church.
  • The “black” table found near the altar, is considered to be the original Communion Table.
  • The large chair – Bishop’s chair is dated 1950 and was donated by Mrs Edith Taylor of Station Road Awsworth, given in memory of her husband Frank Taylor.

Awsworth parish initially being part of Nuthall, was joined in 1953 to Cossall, St Catherines: the patronage having been transferred in 1931 from Cecily Grey wife of Charles Harvey Grey Earl of Stamford, to the Bishop of Southwell.

The beginning of the 21st Century, Awsworth and Cossall together with St Helen’s Trowell became one benefice in the Diocese of Southwell later known as Southwell & Nottingham.

Photo of stained glass window in St Peter's

In 1995 the “old faithful” church hall or Mission Hall, built in 1894 at a cost of £774, was pulled down. This had been the venue for many stage productions, fund raising events and social gatherings for many years, but damp and running costs made it difficult to maintain.

1995 also saw, under the care of Rev Duncan Mc Mann, the re-ordering of the back of church and the side rooms. This was completed in 1995 and is now used for meetings and youth work.

Back rooms at St Peter's

Later additions

The new “Prayer” section was created in 2011. The blue picture showing the rising of an eagle, was commissioned in 2011 and painted by Shuna George, using the text from Isaiah 41 v31

“But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Prayer section at St Peter's


In 2012 it was decided the remove the organ due to its poor condition and sadly the cost of maintenance. The area is in process of further development.

The organ was originally built by Lloyd for Gotham Methodist Church Nottinghamshire and was first relocated and rebuilt by Wrays for St Peter’s Awsworth and then by Henry Groves when it was moved to the new chancel.

The Bee

Find the “bee” (carved on a piece of furniture somewhere in the chancel).

The “bee” is also the symbol used in the badge of our local school and encourages us all to be industrious and of “fine character and of good quality”. St John Chrysostom wrote: “The bee is more honoured than other animals, not because she labours, but because she labours for others”.

St Peter's organ prior to its removal


“Make the doors or our churches wide enough to receive all who need love, fellowship and a Father’s care – yet narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride and lack of love.
May all who enter be refreshed and renewed in your hope and joy. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Click to explore the list of Awsworth Priests

The first ministry appointment was William Wright in 1748, followed by:

Vicars: Awsworth
1777 — Rev. James Bingham
1812 — Rev. Jervase Brown
1842 — Rev. Samuel May Lund
1866 — Rev. Michael Terry
1890 — Rev. Vincent Joseph Higgins
1905 — Rev. John James Cross
1910 — Rev. Larret Pearson Sayles
1947 — Rev. Herbert Leslie Hobson
1959 — Rev. Richard Henry Smart
1963 — Rev. Wilfred L Archer
1966 — Rev. Miles
1970 — Rev. Walter Davies
1974 — Rev. Leslie Cowley
1977 — Rev. David Alan Roberts
1982 — Rev. David D C Bignall
1986 — Rev. John A Parfitt
1992 — Rev. Duncan McMann

Rectors: Awsworth, Cossall & Trowell
2000 — Rev. Graham R Booth
2006 — Rev. Dr. Andrew Lord