The Church is always open and visitors are most welcome.  During June 2017 our ring of five bells was removed from the tower and now reside with Taylors Bellfoundry in Loughborough to be refurbished. The Bell Weekend in late June raised a shade over £5,000 towards the cost of this work. We hope the bells will be back with us early in 2018 when there will another opportunity to see them "up close". Our Church remains open 24/7.

Just a stone's throw from the River Deben St Peter's Church is - like many others in this Benefice - recorded in the Domesday Book (1086). In the 12th century it was one of two churches serving the village - All Saints was in Upper Cretingham and this one, then dedicated to St Andrew, here in Nether Cretingham.

In the 13th century its living was granted to St Peter's Priory in Ipswich - later dissolved by Cardinal Wolsey. The change of dedication to St Peter took place around 1900 but the reason is not known. Apart from its furnishings the church has changed very little in the past 400 years and it was, thankfully, left alone by the Victorian "improvers".

The Chancel is probably the oldest part of the church with its three lancet windows dating from the 13th century. The Nave dates from the 14th century and has perpendicular windows below a simple but pleasing hammer-beam roof. The spandrels are of note especially the unusual portrayal of St George and the Dragon on the fourth bay from the west end on the north side.

The Pulpit – probably a three-decker originally – is Jacobean as are the Tester, Altar rails and Holy Table. The box-pews are Hanoverian – not exceptionally beautiful but relatively draught-free in an unheated church (although 2013 saw our first Christmas services using the newly-installed heating system).

The Royal Arms are believed to have been originally dedicated to Charles I. They were turned round and the Ten Commandments painted on the reverse during the Commonwealth – only to be turned again after the Restoration and the dedication amended to Charles II.

The wall  monuments are for Lionel Louth who married into the family holding one of Cretingham’s manors and for Margaret Cornwallis whose brother-in-law was the Comptroller of the Household to Queen Mary. Royal coats of arms and those of Cardinal Wolsey adorn these monuments.

The fine flint-faced tower supports five bells – still rung regularly – three are medieval and all were cast in East Anglian foundaries. We hope to hang a sixth bell in 2018 to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War One.

St Peter’s has a small but active congregation and a dynamic Friends group who fund-raise in order to maintain the fabric of the building.

The Church is always open and visitors are most welcome.  

Churchwardens of St Peter's - Cretingham

Alister Gourlay 01728 685335

Heather Runacres 01728 685736 

Parish Email contact:      

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