During June 2017 our ring of five bells was removed from the tower and taken to Taylors Bellfoundry in Loughborough to be refurbished. The Bell Weekend in late June '17 raised a shade over £5,000 towards the cost of this work. The five bells - PLUS the new treble (our Peace Bell cast to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I) - were carefully hoisted up the tower in late April 2018 and have been joyfully rung at services (and two weddings) since that time. This refurbishment project has been grant-aided by the Heritage Lottery FundThe Barron Bell Trust, The Suffolk Guild of Bellringers, The Friends'of St Peter's  and the Cretingham Townlands Trust. The PCC, who also drew on their capital reserves to part-fund the project, are very grateful for their support. The new treble bell was dedicated by the Bishop of Dunwich - the Rt Revd Dr Mike Harrison - during our Remembrance Sunday service on 11.11.18. We are now looking to recruit new bellringers and learners are welcome - please email cretinghambell2017@gmail.com and we will be in touch with details. A full history of the bells, written by Carol Brown, can be viewed and printed here.

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 - however - 2013 saw our first Christmas services using the newly-installed heating system which continues to keep us cosy.

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 six bells – still rung regularly – three are medieval and were cast in East Anglian foundaries. Our newest bell was cast by Taylors of Loughborough and hung 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.

During the Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 our retired Priest with PTO, Revd Wendy Gourlay, led Reflective and Taizé services  which were streamed as a  Loes Deanery initiative. They are available below by clicking the appropriate link.

To download the Deanery Reflective Services for the Christmas Season please click the appropriate date link:

Epiphany here and the Order of Service here

Christmas Day here and the Order of Service here

Advent 2 (20th December) here and the Order of Service here

Advent 1 (6th December) here and the Order of Service here

To download the Deanery Taizé services please click the appropriate date link:

November 2020 here and the Order of Service here. October 2020 here and  the Order of Service here.

September 2020 here and the Order of Service  here. August 2020 here and the Order of Service here.

July 2020 here and the Order of Service here. June 2020 here and the Order of Service here

Churchwardens of St Peter's - Cretingham

Alister Gourlay 01728 685335

Heather Runacres 01728 685736 

Parish Email contact:                benefice.website@yahoo.co.uk

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