Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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St. Peter's Episcopal

CITY, ST, ZIP: Port Royal, VA 22535
PHONE: 804/742-5908
FAX: 804/462-5377
E-MAIL: Office

CLERGY: Catherine D. Hicks
TITLE: Priest-in-Charge
E-MAIL: Catherine D. Hicks

WEB URL: St. Peter's Church
ECW: St. Peter's ECW

William S. Quisenberry’s will in 1835 bequeathed to the trustees of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Port Royal, Lot 11, on which St. Peter’s was erected in that year. The first service was a baptism in December and it has never closed since, being used continuously for worship. It was approximately the eighth church structure within St. Mary’s Parish. Formed in 1677, the parish originally included an area on both sides of the Rappahannock River but was separated in 1713 to the south side only.

The church’s architecture, a mixture of Gothic and Greek revival, then prevalent styles, also has Colonial features including hinged pew doors and wall tablets. St. Peter’s is one of few post-Revolutionary churches to maintain its Tablets of the Law, Prayer and the Creed. The brick building, stuccoed over, is in excellent condition. There is seating for approximately 150 persons in boxed pews. Most of the brasses and other furnishings were memorial gifts. The large central chandelier was removed from a 19th Century mansion in Richmond.

The church was twice a victim of fire. In 1849 it was pretty well gutted. The 1850 organ and bell were installed in the reconstruction following that fire.

George Stevens of Cambridge, Mass., installed the organ, in a loft at the rear of the sanctuary; one of about 850 he built in the United States, twelve of those in Virginia. It is now the only one left in Virginia, and one of about twelve left in the nation. The organ, with 500 pipes and 9 stops, has “tracker-action”, a type with very little to breakdown. It was restored in 2000.

Beyond the main sanctuary but under the same roof is the sacristy, plus another small room with sink and toilet facilities, mostly used for flower preparation, but in the past this room has also served for the Sunday School.

In 1868 lightning struck the steeple causing a second fire. That prompted the Vestry to vote “no more steeples” and to erect the separate Bell Tower in the yard, near the area given to gravesites. In 2010, a new belltower was placed on top of the Church