St Peter's Church, Offord D'Arcy

St Peter's Church, Offord, D'Arcy

The History of St Peter’s

For centuries St Peter’s was the parish church of Offord D’Arcy, until 1978, when it was decided that All Saints Church in Offord Cluny would serve both Offord Cluny and Offord D’Arcy.

The current church dates from the Norman period with various later additions. The church is made of brown cobblestones. The nave is Norman, with the chancel dating from around 1250 to 1270. The single lancet windows are of a similar period but the large window was added around 1450 to 1500.

The south aisle was added in 1320 and has beautiful, decorated windows, a stone trail of ball flowers beneath the parapet and an arched porch. The western tower and octagonal spire were added in 1380, although the spire was later rebuilt in 1860 and extensively repaired in 1990. The tower contains 3 bells dating from the 1600s. The interior of the church is light and airy with many interesting and beautiful historical features. Richard Nailour (d.1616), his two wives and his children are represented on their alabaster monument.

At the rear of the church is the magnificent organ, screen and gallery given in 1925 in memory of William Priestly and his wife Elizabeth, of Offord D’Arcy Manor House. Near the eastern end of the aisle is the remains of a large mediaeval stone coffin. There are very old brasses in the church. The one with 3 figures is a memorial to Sir Lawrence Pabenham, a knight who died in 1400. Sir Lawrence is shown in full armour. His 2 wives are wearing the horned headdresses typical of their time. The other brass near the pulpit is in memory of Dr Taylard, a rector of Offord D’Arcy in the early 1500s. This shows Dr Taylard kneeling and in his academic robes and doctor’s cap. A magnificent brass eagle lectern is situated near the chancel steps. Next to the stained glass window showing the archangels, St Michael and St Gabriel, is a framed illustrated Roll of Honour, listing those from the parish who served in the First World War, the medals received and sadly such notes as ‘killed in action’, ‘trench fever’ and ‘prisoner of war’.

St Peter’s remains a consecrated church and a few services are held there throughout the year.