The facility and equipment of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church are available for use by our members, organizations and ministries as well as outside groups and causes. Whether you are planning a wedding or reception, need meeting space or a place to hold an event, we may be able to help. For more detailed information, please see the documents below or contact the church office.
In 1840, Benjamin Reeves, David Reeves and Joseph Whitaker donated a plot of land and the cornerstone of St. Peter’s original church building was laid on Easter Tuesday, April 21, 1840. This building was of the Victorian style and had its main entrance on Prospect Street. On December 5, 1852, the church building was consecrated.
The St. Peter’s currently standing was built between 1900 and 1932, with the new building gradually replacing the original structure. The chancel was built in the medieval Gothic Style, which emphasized the use of colors, symbolism and ritual, similar to the styles of medieval churches. Inlaid in the floor of the altar is a large memorial cross made of bronze. Inside this larger cross is a smaller cross made of marble. This stone was a gift to St. Peter’s Church from Queen Victoria, and it was taken from the ruins in Hastings, England. The chancel was built in memorial to Margaret handy Reeves by her son Samuel J. Reeves. Because of the construction of the chancel, the entrance to St. Peter’s was changed from Prospect Street to Church Street at this time.
In 1906, construction of the George Natress- designed parish house began. It was built in a U shape, surrounding the chancel on three sides. This formation created an enclosed garden between the structures which still exists today. This expansion of St. Peter’s was also created as a memorial by Samuel J. Reeves; this time it was dedicated to his wife, Mrs. Samuel J. Reeves. The remainder of the construction plan did not begin until approximately 1930, which was after the dissolution of George Nattress’s firm in 1917. The cornerstone of the present nave was laid in 1931. During this major re-building, the congregation worshipped in what is currently known as St. Margaret’s Hall, located in the parish house.
St. Peter’s current worship space was built in the 19th Century Gothic Revival Style; this reflects the Oxford or high-church movement which was very prominent during the early parts of the twentieth century. The roof has a large crowstop gable with finials at its peaks. The front elevation has a large pointed arch stained glass window with cinquefoil and pointed arch tracery over an elaborate pointed arch recessed doorway with ornate ornamentation. The window and doorway are flanked by double pointed buttresses. The corners of the building and the windows on the side elevations also have smaller buttresses. The side elevation windows have circular and pointed arch tracery. The building spreads out across a large arch with similar roof and window treatments.
The windows of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church are simply breathtaking. Installed in 1946, the windows in the nave were created by the Willet Studios of Philadelphia. The windows in the Lady Chapel were designed by Meyer, which is a stained glass window design studio that originated in Germany. Every window in St. Peter’s sanctuary and Lady Chapel tells a story.
Throughout the history of St. Peter’s, the congregation has stepped in to fill areas of need in the community of Phoenixville, and more recently, a much larger community. Service to the community has taken many forms during the past 170 years, but each time St. Peter’s has reached out to those most in need of support, including those of differing faiths.
St. Peter’s Church and the town of Phoenixville have always had a symbiotic relationship. It is hard to imagine one without the other. In her speech titled “Reminiscences” given during St. Peter’s Centennial Celebration in 1938, Susan F. Vanderslice made a comparison of then rector Rev. William H. Anthony, Ph.D. to a story about Moses in Exodus. She stated that when one’s hands become heavy, as did Moses’ hands, we all should support his hands as did Aaron and Hur, “the one on one side, and the other on the other side; and we should keep his hands steady until the going down of the sun.” (Exodus 17, 10-12) This sentiment can be applied to today’s situation in Phoenixville, when the “hands” of Phoenixville begin to get “heavy”, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church always has been and always will be ready and willing to help support those hands and fulfill a need in the community.