St Peter's Church was built in 1874.
It was constructed on a steeply sloping pedestrian walkway, St Peter's Hill, leading down to the main harbour and which used to be called 'Sheppy Lane', as sheep were driven down it to supply the boats in the harbour. The Church is 100 metres from the harbour, but 25 metres above sea level!
St Peters had a rich and colourful history. Jabez Lake was a member of the church, who had a large family, and was very much an integral part of the local community. In 1913 he wrote ‘St Peter’s … is truly a fisherman’s church, in fact it is greatly beloved by a large number of fishermen, and others too, of course. It is not very large, but it usually boasts a good congregation. One of the things which often struck visitors is the way in which the fishermen gave vent to a favourite hymn’. The church was highly decorated and included elaborate metalwork, column and wall panelling (see above photo) which we have tried to echo and which inspired us in the restoration.
The Church was deconsecrated in 1977 having served the community for more than 100 years. The lower part of it was converted into three flats in the 1980's, including the rear half of the nave plus the original church main entrance. The upper part of the nave and the chancel is the part that we restored.
Our part of the Church had most recently been used as a steelworks, including a fully operational forge and metal press. It had latterly stood empty for five years and the interior was in poor condition. There was very little natural light and as no repairs had been done on the roof, but there was plenty of running water, mainly from the many holes and gaps around the building!
The church is located in the heart of Brixham.
Below: Installing the glass floor - 44mm thick each panel weighs around 230kg.