St. Peter, Apostle and Martyr

Peter was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, that is, one of his closest followers. He was a fisherman from the village of Bethsaida in Galilee. His life was transformed by Jesus, as he slowly became the leader of the Apostles. He is a figure that is quite easy for us to relate to, as he made so many mistakes in his life and in his relationship with Jesus, even denying that he knew him 3 times, to save his own life, during the events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus. Nevertheless, Jesus chose him to witness key moments of his life, such as his Transfiguration and appointed him to be the Rock of his Church (Matthew: 16:18). Peter went on to found the Christian Church in Rome. Peter was eventually martyred in Rome by the Emperor Nero. He was crucified upside down at his own request, as he saw himself as unworthy to meet the same death as his friend and Lord, Christ himself

The earliest Churches in Folkestone, as many elsewhere, were dedicated to St. Peter and so when a chapel was to be built for the fishermen of Folkestone in 1862, it was named again, for the humble fisherman, St. Peter.

St. Peter is therefore the Patron of our Church. We hold him in special esteem. We pray for him regularly and keep his feast day (29th June) with great celebration.

Peter The Fisherman

Peter the Fisherman, called with his brother,
headed the twelve whom the Master enrolled:
heard all his teaching and knew that no other
could be the One that the prophets foretold.

“Thou art the Christ!” was his bold declaration,
vision of truth without any disguise;
soon would he witness the Transfiguration,
glory unspeakable shine in his eyes.

Peter the penitent wept for his failing,
wept for his cowardice, wept that he lied;
Christ gave the pardon of love all- availing,
thrice called him shepherd for thrice he denied.

Taken by Herod and kept in a prison,
Peter was freed by an angel of God;
saved to establish the Church of the Risen,
saved for the road which his Master had trod.

Peter our Patron, O hark to our pleading,
pray for our parish, our seamen and land;
all of thy children forgiveness are needing,
guide us and bring us to Christ’s loving hand.

Thanks be to God on this day of rejoicing,
when we remember his care and his love,
told in the songs which the angels are voicing,
tuned to the harps of the blessed above!

© Words are copyright to St. Peter’s PCC
They are sung to the tune Epiphany by J.F.Thrupp 1827-1867
(usually sung to Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning):

St. Peter, Apostle and Martyr