Planning for the 900th Anniversary is underway once again after a long hiatus during the pandemic. Good progress is being made in a number of different areas.
The anniversary year will be marked with a series of celebratory services and events. Some of the occasions currently proposed are:
Palm Sunday Service, 10th April – Procession from the town centre to St Peter’s, led by Bishop Philip with distinguished guests invited.
Maundy Thursday Children’s Workshop
Easter Weekend, Friday 15th to Sunday 17th April – Good Friday 3 Hours Devotion, Easter Saturday Vigil, and Easter Day Morning Service. All led by Bishop Philip.
Lecture Series – Guest speakers.
St Peter’s Day Service, Sunday 3rd July
Municipal Choir and Burnley Orchestra – Summer concerts.
Heritage Day, Saturday 10th September – Including exhibition of St Peter’s history.
Harvest Festival, Sunday 25th September – Venerable Andrew Brown to preach.
All Saints’ Day, Sunday 30th October/Tuesday 1st November – Confirmation Service and renewal of baptism vows by the congregation.
Advent Sunday, 27th November – Final Service of celebration with Bishop Philip.
Advent Sunday Open Workshop
Book of St Peter – People in the town centre invited to write a verse for a small donation.
Pilgrimage to Whalley Abbey – Evensong Service.
Climbing the Tower
Play of St Peter’s life
Merchandise – A range of branded merchandise will be available, from T-shirts and hoodies to bags and pens. Prices to be released in due course.
If you would like to contribute to any of these things, please speak to the chair of the 900th Anniversary Planning Committee, Carol Waddington.
A Celebration of Burnley and St Peter’s as a community for over 900 years
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.