St Peter's Church re-opens
St Peter’s Church has just re-opened after being closed for refurbishment for over a year and everyone at Stonyhurst is delighted with the result.
The church was the first major work of the Architect J. J. Scholes (1798 - 1863), and the beginning of his long and successful association with the Society of Jesus. The Grade I Listed Building was constructed during the period 1832 to 1835 and is an important and significant example of church architecture in the Gothic Revival Perpendicular style.
The refurbishment work has been done by Cassidy and Ashton (the Preston architects who designed Weld House) and has been funded by the Society of Jesus. It includes:
· the repair and re-leading of the stained glass windows to restore them to their former glory;
· extensive external stone repairs to window tracery and the main fabric of the building;
· complete re-roofing and the re-leading of gutters;
· the provision of new cast iron rainwater pipes and hoppers;
· the restoration of extensive stencilling from the 1850’s and the 1950’s, which had been covered by whitewash paint;
· the redecoration of all wall surfaces, window surrounds and mullions;
· the cleaning and restoration of the magnificent ceiling in both the nave and the side aisles;
· the restoration and re-painting of the east wall above the sanctuary, and its 1850’s stencilling;
· the provision of new light fittings, to throw light upwards to illuminate the ceiling and to provide down-lighting to the pews;
· the provision of under floor heating and the retention of the existing radiators for decorative purposes only;
· the redecoration and lighting of the Silence Gallery;
· the provision of Disabled Access and a new Disabled WC accessible to the public.
In February 2012, the nineteenth century frescos dedicated to St Ignatius of Loyola and St Francis Xavier will be restored; this restoration will be funded by the Stonyhurst Association.
All of this has breathed new life into St Peter’s Church which future generations will now be able to enjoy. An official opening Mass will be held on Sunday 22nd January, 2012.