A Parish of the Diocese of Canterbury under the Episcopal care of the Bishop of Richborough.
6. The Nave and Organ LoftLocaleBiznet2017-01-18T07:58:56+00:00
Virtual Tour of St.Peter’s
The Nave and Organ Loft
As we leave the East end of the Church, we turn to look up The Nave towards the Organ Loft, the West end and the Main Door with the Jubilee Gates. It provides a sweeping view of our little Church.
As we make our way slowly up the aisle, you will pass several figures of Saints. On the right is St. George, Patron Saint of England, forming part of a memorial to Francis Oliver, who died in 1928. Whilst on the window sills are statues of St. Francis of Assisi; St. Cecilia and St. Anthony of Padua. On the walls, you will also note the final stations of the Stations of the Cross. These form a separate tour, which starts in the Lady Chapel.
About half way along the aisle, look up to see the Organ and Choir Loft, which was built to replace the organ lost to the blitz of the Second World War, (and used to stand in the South Transept). The loft was completed in 1947 and forms a memorial to Father Pickburn, second Vicar of St. Peter's, who bravely stayed with the Church and Parish throughout the War.
Two Church banners hang from the Gallery Screen. You will also see two angels with trumpets, which are remnants saved from the surround from the first organ. A small statue of King David, playing his harp, stands at the centre
The magnificent organ was built by Beale and Thynne, London, in 1896. It came to St. Peter's in 1946 from the now disused Convent Chapel of St. Andrew's Care Home.
The organ was severely damaged in the 1996 fire and restored by Browne's of Ash at a cost of £40,000. A few useful modifications were made at the same time.
Only two of the pews of St. Peter's are reserved and these are for the two Churchwardens. As you pass the Churchwardens' pew seats, you will see their two wands, one for each Churchwarden, topped by the keys of St. Peter.
The office of Churchwarden is one of the most senior lay roles in the Church of England and one of the most ancient. They are the Bishop's appointed representatives in the Church, who represent and lead the laity.
Churchwardens are responsible for the upkeep of the physical Church, its goods and grounds as well as ensuring the teaching of 'true religion' in the Church. They are also responsible for the orderly conduct of Mass and act as the Bishop's bodyguard during any visit - thus the staffs or 'wands', from the days when quarterstaffs were useful in the execution of such duties! These days they are purely symbolic, as indeed, are the reserved pews, which are only observed on formal occasions.
Peter's has prided itself on having open seating since the day it opened, when it advertised the fact in the local papers. Nobody has ever had to pay Pew Tax or paid to reserve the best seat. This was quite a revolution in Victorian Folkestone.
In the back South-west corner of the Church is a small play area, where children who are too small for Sunday School may play quietly during Mass. The emphasis is on quietly - drawing, reading etc. rather than loud electronic games! There are often exhibitions on the screens here, too, about the latest goings-on or restorations around the Church. So do take a moment to look at any exhibition.
In the corner you will note a metal spiral staircase. This leads to the organ loft and is CLOSED to the public. It is not safe for you to go up here.
At the West end of the Nave is the dedication inscription for the Organ Loft and Choir Gallery to Father Pickburn. On each side are hung some ancient Church panels, representing the Chorus of Virgins (Chorus Virginum). In the centre is an Icon of Jesus Christ, the teacher, given by the Greek Orthodox community in 1998.
Before we end our tour, take a moment to turn around and look down The Nave towards the West end of the Church and the Sanctuary. We hope that you have fallen in love with our little Church, as we have.
As you turn again to leave, take a longer look at the Icon of Jesus Christ the teacher, given by the Greek Orthodox Community in 1998. We hope that you have learned much from your tour of our 'Little Grey Church'.
As you walk towards the Jubilee doors, you will see tables with prayer cards and postcards for you to take and magazines and books for you to borrow. Please don't forget to sign the visitors book!
There are also donation boxes, if you would like to make a donation towards the upkeep of the Church.
Thank you for visiting and as you leave through the Jubilee doors to your left, May the Peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ go with you.