John E. Vigars Kent Church Photographs
Image Source: Dave Godden RIP
The Upper Church of St. Peter Pembury Kent Pembury's "new" church of St. Peter in the middle of the present village was built in 1846-47 as a chapel of ease to the medieval church, also dedicated to St. Peter. The original church is located in the countryside a mile away from where most of the population now resides. The new church is known as the Upper Church to distinguish it from the Old or Lower Church, which is still used today. The Marquess Camden provided the plot of land, and the new church cost just under £2500 to build. E.W. Stephens of Maidstone was the architect. It is made of local sandstone in Perpendicular Gothic style. The north aisle was extended in 1894 to create a large room which was used for the Sunday School. The east window, dating from c1870 was designed by Alexander Gibbs. It overlooks a blank arched reredos bearing the Cross Keys of St. Peter. Other stained-glass windows in the church date from 1902 and 1938. The 1938 window, now located on the south wall of the chancel was the work of Arts & Crafts designer Leonard Walker. The tower, located at the west end of the south aisle, originally had a 92 feet high steeple which was removed for safety reasons in 1984. In the 1990s it underwent a major reordering. The west end was fitted with an upper gallery which contains a meeting room. Catering and toilet facilities were also installed, along with a new organ. The painting of St. Peter displayed at the east end of the south aisle was the work of Sister Mary Simon from the Benedictine Abbey in West Malling, and dates from 1997. Text by Rob Baker
1851 Census Details
Seating Capacity: 450
Morning Attendance: 300
Afternoon Attendance: No service
Evening Attendance: No service
Original Build Date/Architect: E W Stephens 1846
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