Eype: St Peter, Eype
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St. Peter's, Eype, is the daughter-church to St. John the Baptist, the parish church of Symondsbury. Built between 1863 and 1865 it has always been too large for its congregation but whilst it remains a church first and formost nowadays it is also used as an arts venue, although it is still consecrated with regular evensong services and the occasional funeral. It is classified as a chapel and therefore does not hold wedding services but is licensed to renew and bless wedding vows, it is a gorgeous setting for such an occassion.
The church has some very fine and interesting stained glass by the Victorian ecclesiastical glaziers Heaton, Butler and Bayne.
All but one of the windows date back to the year in which the church was built, 1865.
On the left, in the sanctuary, is a window of two lights. The left hand one depicts Jesus’ call of St Peter ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men’. Peter is shown, tool in hand, mending his net. In a background are the brothers James and John on their fishing boat. In fact the artist has taken a liberty with the gospel text, Mark 3:19 tells us that it was the brothers who were mending their nets.
The right hand light shows a scene from the Passion. Peter has just denied that he knew Jesus; the cock has crowed: Peter has recalled the prophetic words of Jesus that ‘before the cock crows you will deny me three times’ – hence the window text ‘He went out and wept bitterly’. This is taken from Luke 22:60; Luke is the only gospel writer to record that at this moment Jesus turned and looked at Peter. Notice in the picture that Jesus is bound; notice, too, his fierce guards! Anne Faith and Ellen Amelia Bryan gave the window to the church, in memory of their friend, Revd, Gregory Raymond.
The initials of these two women may be picked out in the two top-most lights of the window.
The great central window above the alter contains 4 main lights and 3 top lights. Of the main lights, the left hand one depicts the opening of the parable of the Good Samaritan (St. Luke 10:25-37). Here, the traveller is set upon by robbers. The priest and Levite then pass by ‘on the other side’ (note how snooty they look!). The left centre light depicts Christ the Good Shepherd. The text is from St John10:11. Christ holds in his arm a lamb, in his hand his shepherds crook. The wolf, which ‘harried the flock’ (v.12) is shown outside the fold, with the sheep safely inside. The right centre light shows the miracle of the Feeding of the 5000.
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