The Trustees are pleased to report excellent progress on renovations to date. The interior paintwork has been restored to its original white. The lighting has been significantly improved, with the old striplight bulbs replaced with much subtler LEDS. The Stations of the Cross have been extensively cleaned. The Sanctuary candles have been replaced. The altar’s brass candlesticks have been cleaned, polished and re-lacquered. The altar and baldacchino are each benefiting from specialist restoration by skilled local artist Kim Sisson. Further work has refreshed the Sanctuary, polished the wooden floor of the main body of the church, and more.
Please bear with us while work is ongoing. If you would like to contribute in any way to the restoration effort, please contact the Trustees. All help will be gratefully appreciated.
The Trustees would like to thank all involved in the restoration work, especially:
Originally, the interior of the church was painted to resemble many different colours of marble (in trompe l’oeil). However, after Mrs Kenyon died, in 1937, her daughter Anne (Mrs Todhunter) took the decision to cover the pretended marble with simple white paint. That tradition has been upheld, and the result is a charming and peaceful space.
Points of interest in the church interior:
Our altar still faces away from the congregation, and was never modified in the 1960s following Vatican II.
Our candle tray was designed by Harold Holmes, the Gillingham Estate farrier, who retired in the mid-60s. He lived and worked at the Gillingham Forge, which no longer stands, but was situated opposite Gillingham Village Hall (and gave Forge Grove its name). His father had been the estate farrier before him, and he made the iron grille at the back of the church.
Our statue of St Peter sits at the back of the church, on your left-hand side as you enter.
Our war memorial plaques are at the back of the church. The second plaque was erected by Mrs Mary Bramley, daughter of Anne Todhunter, in memory of her brother Lt. Robin Todhunter, and Squadron Leader John Taylor. Below the plaques are five ceramic poppies which formed part of the public art installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper (originally shown at the Tower of London, 2014).
Our icon may be seen to the right of the altar.
Our Sanctuary Lamp, decorated with small angels, is made of brass and hangs to the left of the altar.