It’s possible Anglican services were held as early as 1706 in our area. The initial records for St. Peter’s were contained in the parish records of Christ Episcopal Church in Dover, which were destroyed in a fire in the early nineteenth-century. We do know the first structure was a wooden chapel completed in 1744 in Duck Creek. The small chapel was replaced with a larger brick church 20 years later. At the time, we were sharing the Rev. Charles Inglis with Christ Church, Dover and he named the new brick church St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
Historical records are silent for the period between 1793 and 1827 outside of a report from the Rev. Alexander G. Cummins that the parish languished during these years. In 1827 the old church at Duck Creek was deteriorated beyond repair and was razed. A new one was built using some of the bricks from the previous church and was consecrated in 1828 on a lot on Union Street, one mile south, to keep St. Peter’s within the main town limits, which had moved south. The former location continues to be St. Peter’s cemetery. St. Peter’s continued sharing clergy with either Christ Church, Dover or St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, Middletown until 1850 when the Rev. Samuel T. Carpenter was called as our first rector.
Rapid growth of the town and congregation resulted in adding a transept and extending the sanctuary in 1857. A parish hall was added in 1872 and a Sunday school wing was completed in 1958. In the last fifty years, several properties with small homes in poor condition were purchased and converted into two parking lots, a backyard, and open space. On May 23, 1980, St. Peter’s was placed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Smyrna Historic District.
Beginning in 1885 the clear sanctuary windows were gradually replaced with gorgeous stained glass windows. The window depicting the Holy Family was made in Tours, France and another window of the Good Shepherd was made in Innsbruck, Austria.
Since 1994, St. Peter’s principal outreach is our Preschool, preparing three- and four-year-old children for kindergarten. Our preschool provides students with a faith-based rich background of experience in order to develop reading readiness and nurture the natural creativity and curiosity of God’s beloved children. We continue to open our doors through community events such as a block party (celebrating our patron feast), dinner with Santa, pancake supper, lunch with the Easter Bunny, homecoming (fourth Sunday in Lent), honoring those who work in helping professions, and a Spring and Fall tea party.
Our services are 8:00AM and 10:30AM on Sundays and 10:30AM healing service on Wednesdays. All are welcome to come, see, and experience!