Built in the 12th century, probably on the site of an earlier Saxon church, only the lower part of the original tower still survives an extensive rebuild done in about 1280, followed by another major rebuild in the 15th century. During the first half of the 20th century the congregation dwindled and the church fell into disrepair and the church was closed by the vicar in 1945 as it was considered unsafe. Villagers in 1948 decided the church should be re-opened, so after fund raising extensive restoration took place to the tower and chancel from 1956 and this part was re-opened in 1959. Restoration of the Nave began in 1970 and took less than a year. The tower houses 6 bells which are still rung.
St Peter’s Thurleigh has a Local Ecumenical Partnership (LEP) agreement with Thurleigh Baptist Church (Chapel) which was formally inaugurated and signed on 14th July 2013 and supercedes an earlier ‘Christians Together in Thurleigh’ covenant setup in November 2007. Thurleigh Baptist Chapel is part of the Keysoe Row and Thurleigh Baptist Church, although the small chapel at Keysoe Row is no longer used. The two churches in Thurleigh work together and United services are held regularly, either in St Peter’s or in the Thurleigh Chapel.
Although an ancient building, St Peter’s has been fitted in recent times with a disabled standard toilet and a kitchen area and infra-red instant heating. A new main heating system has also just been installed. Further internal improvements are planned.
It is surrounded by a churchyard which is still open to new burials. War memorials are in the High Street just outside the main gate to the churchyard and a new award winning community memorial garden and quiet space was recently built within the churchyard.
Click here for photos of the memorial garden and its construction.
Click here for details about the new ‘Friends of St Peter’s Thurleigh’.
The church is usually only open when there are services, or when other work is being done there. If you wish to look around the church and you find it locked, then please contact a churchwarden or the vicar.
Thurleigh: Population 700; Households 260;
(Approx) (2001 Census)
10.00am Fridays in term time: Morning Prayer in St Peter’s – a short quiet ‘said’ service. (May not always happen – see diary listings and check with Churchwarden if uncertain.)
Children are welcome at all services. Adventurers and Explorers Sunday Clubs are not operating at the moment (see the Children and Youth page).
Consequently, children are invited with their parents into our Sunday services. In particular the ‘Morning Worship’ and ‘United’ services are less formal and children will learn more easily from these. At a future date the Adventurers and Explorers will resume in some form and details will be here.
Coffee, tea and biscuits (and sometimes more) is generally served after a 11.15am Sunday Service.
No Christian discussion house groups meet in Thurleigh at the present, although it is hoped that one can be restarted. Information will be available here if a house group meets.
|How to find us|
Entering Thurleigh High Street from the Milton Ernest direction, with The Jackal pub on the left, St Peter’s Church is just a hundred yards or so up the hill on the right opposite the school. The postcode: MK44 2DB may be used if using Sat-Nav. There is no church car park, but for Sunday services the school gates opposite the main church entrance are usually open and you may park in the school, or if full, on the High Street. Please do not park in the school during school times.
Continuing further up the High Street, past the village hall, for a few hundred yards, the Baptist Chapel will be found on the left on the corner of the High Street with Keysoe Road. Use Postcode MK44 2DS if using Sat-Nav. There is a small grass car park behind the Chapel, entrance from Keysoe Road.