St Peter’s Parish Church covers the communities of Forsbrook and Blythe Bridge just south of Stoke-on-Trent. We are part of a united benefice with the ancient parish church of St Margaret’s Draycott in the Moors.
St Peter’s Forsbrook is part of the Diocese of Lichfield in the Church of England. It is part of the Deanery of Cheadle. The Deanery of Cheadle is in the Archdeaconry of Stoke on Trent. The Archdeaconry of Stoke on Trent is part of the Episcopal Area of Stafford. The Episcopal Area of Stafford is one of three such areas in the Diocese of Lichfield.
Our Mission Statement
Glorifying God is the aim of every Christian (1 Corinthians 10:31). We seek to bring him the glory due to his name through our WORSHIP – both corporately when we gather together (Revelation 4:9-11) and in our individual lives (Romans 12:1-2).
Following Jesus is the Christian life. Jesus called people to follow him unreservedly when he lived on earth, and today he continues to invite us with the same call – ‘follow me’ (Matthew 4:19). Responding to his call is the life of DISCIPLESHIP which is both costly and rewarding (Mark 8:34-35).
Growing Disciples is at the heart of the reason for the church’s existence. In his final words to the disciples before his ascension, Jesus commanded his followers to make disciples (Matthew 28: 19-20). It has always been God’s intention that his people should draw others to himself and EVANGELISM and DISCIPLESHIP should be a normal and expected part of our life corporately and individually. Spiritual growth in people, however, is God’s work (1 Corinthians 3:6-8) and he graciously invites us into that process.
Transforming Communities is the outcome for which we hope and PRAY as we seek to be ambassadors for Christ in the communities to which we belong. Jesus reminds us that we, as his people, are to be salt and light - agents of transformation - in places where there is moral decay and spiritual darkness (Matthew 5:13-16). We PRAY for the coming of God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
The building is at a higher level than the road. It is constructed in 1849 in an Early English gothic style with stone from Hollington, 7 miles to the east. It is not a listed building. In the 'Staffordshire' volume of 'The Buildings of England' by Nikolaus Pevnser he dismisses the church with the following brief statement:-
FORSBROOK- St. Peter. 1848 -1849 by James and Edward Barr of Putney. Lancets and a bell-cote. The North Aisle of 1912 is by J. H. Beckett of Longton.
A description of the church at the time of its consecration in 1849, taken from the contemporary issue of the 'Stafford Advertiser', is more informative. This report says:-
"lt is in Early English style of Architecture and consists of a Nave with a North Porch and a well-developed Chancel with a small vestry on the South side. The West end has two narrow lancet windows divided by a central buttress and crowned by a double bell gable. The East end has a triplet under one arch in the interior and the North and South sides respectively are lighted by couplets and single lancets. The structure is very substantial and well buttressed throughout. The roofs are of lofty pitch covered with tiles and internally consist of a series of trussed rafters. All the gables are surmounted by floriated crosses of various design. The font is of white stone elevated on a single step at the West end of the Nave near the principal entrance. It is octagonal and has a little cross with foliage sculptured on its Eastern face. It is furnished with a flat oaken cover ornamented with ironwork. The pulpit is correctly placed on the North or 'Gospel' side of the Chancel area. The reading desk stands within the arch from the South wall of the Chancel. The Chancel floor is raised one step above that of the Nave and its Eastern end, within the Communion rails , which is elevated upon two additional steps, is paved with encaustic tiles; these, as well as the pavement of the Chancel, were the gift of Herbert Minton, Esq. The Altar is a plain and substantial oak table."
Research (Paul Baker. A.A. Dipl.RIBA. 1995) has revealed that the Architect, Edward Barr, published a monograph on St. Romwalds, Strixton (a village some three miles South of Wellinborough) consisting of measured drawings and sections. This church was built in the 13th Century and St. Peter's as originally built was a direct replica of St. Romwalds, so that although our church is not very old in itself its antecedents are centuries old. Edward Barr himself said that he had designed a church which could be built anywhere 'even in the Colonies' and St. Peter's was the first such church to be erected. rt is not known whether any other examples exist.
When the North Aisle was added in 1912 it was necessary to move the entrance from the North wall to the South wall and later still this doorway was blocked (the door is still in place in the office) and the present porch and entrance was constructed. At this time also the font was moved into the North Aisle from its previous position.