St Peter's is a lovely old church in a typical Dorset village nestled into a valley two miles inland from the famous Chesil Beach.Parts of St Peter’s Church, Portesham have stood at the centre of the village for 900 years. The base of the tower at St Peter’s Portesham is believed to be early Norman, even Saxon. The main body of the church dates to the 12th and 13th centuries.
The church and churchyard also have some old graves; some of them with quite interesting stories. For example, William Weare wanted to be buried ‘neither in the church nor outside it’, so he was interred in the wall.There is also a gravestone with an angel wearing a woolly jumper.
The church is open daily to be a haven of peace. The chancel offers a secluded space for private prayer. Please leave prayer requests on the prayer tree. Please write in our visitors book, we like to see your comments. The comment 'peaceful'. We do have a children's corner if needed but it is lovely for children to join in our worship and be part of and in the congregation, not at the back.
At present the church is embarking on a re-ordering project to add a servery and a toilet, to date the pews have been removed at the rear of the church and there is now a space for informal gatherings.
The church hosts a Craft group.
The churchyard is a typical country churchyard with snowdrops and violets in the Spring and a mass of cyclamen in September, all within the sound of the stream that runs alongside the village street.
We are part of the Dorset Wildlife Trust's 'Living Churchyard' Project, managing the churchyard for the benefit of wildlife. At times part of the grass will remain uncut to allow wild flowers to flourish, over 70 different species have been identified, this will encourage a variety of insects to the ares which in turn will bring in more birds. A survey in 1994 identified over 50 lichen species. In 2011 we entered the Living Churchyard Competition for the first time and won the Best New Entry section, in 2012 we were Runners-Up in the same category. In 2013 we were delighted to win the Bishop's Prize for our Churchyard.
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