You may be aware that we at St Peter’s are coming up to a big birthday. It’s still a couple of years off, but our 900th Anniversary is very much on our minds at the moment.
1122 was the year when the granting of a charter established Burnley as a place ‘with a church’. This was the first recorded evidence of a church existing in the little town on the River Brun, the Brown river. It is thought that worship had been taking place in a wooden building since the establishment of the settlement in c 750, but there is no written evidence to confirm this.
We are planning the celebration of nine-hundred years of Christian worship in the place where our town started – small wooden houses and a church on the river bend, built from the trees cleared to make the space to live and farm the land. Walter Bennet, the great Burnley historian describes the clearing as being from what is now Thompson Park, to what became Turf Moor (the place where the villagers were allowed to dig turf for burning on their fires, and to what is now the Keirby Roundabout. The canal did not appear until the late 1700s. The land was split into a patchwork of allotments each with a wooden dwelling and attached wooden shed for your animals. And that was Burnley in 1122. And there was a church there.
The building has changed, of course, but it is still here.
We are starting to make ‘party plans’.
If you or your organisation would like to be involved in this, please come to our next meeting and bring your ideas. The meeting scheduled for 24th March has now been cancelled due to recent Church of England guidance.
We are hoping for a lot of local interest. Please come. We want to celebrate the life of Burnley in all its cultural forms.
It is not a closed shop! All are welcome!
Where are we now?
- At our last meeting of the planning committee a chart was distributed showing what we had planned and the timescale of supposed action in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Since than there has been some change.
- We also discussed inviting a ‘celebrity’ to be involved in the opening activities in Holy Week 2022 such as: The Archbishop of York (he is new and his diary is not set up), Bishop Philip, Rick Wakeman, Richard Coles.
- The design for the logo has been approved.
- The overall aim has been agreed for the Festival: ‘A Celebration of Burnley and St.Peter’s as a community for over 900 years’.
- Roger Frost wrote an excellent article on the planning for the 900th anniversary, which was published in the Burnley Express of Friday March 13th.
- We still need local groups to plan events in St Peter’s in 2022.
- Meetings of the 900th Planning Committee are suspended for the present and the immediate future.