The first move towards the formation of The Friends occurred, more or less, in April 2002 at a meeting chaired by the then Rector, Guy Buckler. Margaret Staddon agreed to act as Chairman while others volunteered to be fund-raisers, the main purpose of the scheme being to help the church raise funds specifically for meeting the costs of the care and restoration of this Bedford landmark. Companies within the parish and people with links to St., Peter’s were approached inviting them to become Friends, as individuals, families or corporately, either for life or on an annually renewable basis.
Since 2004 members have, once a year, been sent a newsletter listing forthcoming events and enclosing an article whether on one of the features of this ancient church, or outlining its historical background.
St. Peter’s has the advantage of great age on its side in one respect – and it is this which has attracted both single visitors and groups from such organistaions as the Retirement Education Centre, the Beds. and Herts. Historic Churches Trust and the Bedford Archaeological and Local History society. Informative contact with representatives of Albion Archaeology at St. Mary’s Church and Bedford Museum has stimulated interest here, resulting in marvellous photographs of St. Peter’s taking their place amongst the display at the Saxon Gold, Gods and Kings Exhibition held locally in partnership with the British Museum in 2007.
Articles on St. Peter’s have appeared in the newsletters of the Bedfordshire Local History Association and the Friends of St. Thomas a Becket Church in Clapham. Pleased with our contributions to Art’icle, the editor of the Bedford Arts Forum magazine selected St. Peter’s to be the host church for the 2009 Bedford/Jersey Arts Festival. Singers and speakers flew from the island to entertain audiences with music and its story.
By stepping over the threshold and becoming a friend, making a donation or leaving a legacy ensuring that, during these hard times, the fabric of St. Peter’s gets the attention it deserves. Since 2013 the service of Nones has been held annually in May at St. Peter’s to commemorate the work of the Augustinian Canons.
Work costing more than £30,000 was completed in 2010, but the need for interior decoration and renovation is always there.
To join the Friends of St Peter’s please pick up and complete the Friends leaflet which can be found at the back of the church or download a copy here; Friends Application Form . For further information please contact Rosemary Evans, Head of the Friends of St Peter’s at 15 Linden Road, Bedford MK40 2DQ. Tel. 01234 211226
Life Membership £200.00
Individual Membership £10.00 pa
Family Membership £25.00 pa
Corporate Membership £30.00 pa