St Peter’s Newnham was first recorded in 1230, when it was referred to as “the great church”. By the 14th century the church was in danger of being washed away by the river Severn and was rebuilt on higher ground. Today’s church is the second Victorian church on this site, built in 1881 following a fire that destroyed most of the original. A brief history and some pictures of the damaged building are displayed in the church tower. The present tower, which was renovated at a cost of £84,000 in 2002 contains eight bells. Unusually for a church of this size, there is a Victorian carillon, one of only a few in the country.
The church interior has been redecorated and re-ordered to provide more flexible accommodation. It can seat 150 in moveable pews in the main nave and 75 on modern chairs in the large, south aisle.
The Norman font was moved in 2010 to place it at the entrance of the building, its new location being more appropriate for its function of welcoming people into the church community. The burial ground which surrounds the church is mainly the responsibility of the parish council.
Today, the parish church of St Peter’s continues to be a welcoming church to all who come, whether it is for Sunday worship or for enquiries about marriage, baptism or funerals. Please use the Contact Us link for ways to make contact.
St Peter’s is part of the Newnham Benefice, which comprises three churches, the other two being St Andrew’s, Awre and All Saints’, Blakeney. The vicar, Rob James, has responsibility for all three churches and is assisted by lay members of the congregations.
The church is open every day of the week between 9.00am and about 5.30pm for visits, where you are able to sit quietly for prayer and meditation or to explore the various features of the building. Explanatory guides provide information about the different parts of the church.
Newnham is located on the A48 road from Gloucester to Chepstow. The church is situated at the top of the High Street in a prominent position overlooking the village, with spectacular views of the meandering river Severn.
For navigation purposes, the church’s post code is GL14 1AD.