A Visit to Their Majesties’ Chappell, St. Peter’s Church in Bermuda

st peters church bermuda

St Peter’s Church Bermuda

Today St. Peter’s Church in St. George’s Bermuda, doesn’t look anything like the original building finished in 1612. Storms in Bermuda quickly destroyed the wooden structure with a thatched roof, much like when “The Big Bad Wolf” huffed and puffed in the fable of “The Three Little Pigs.” In the 400 years since the church was founded, its undergone several renovations, and at one point was almost abandoned.

st peters church bermuda

In 1713, after most of St. Peter’s Church was destroyed by a hurricane, it was re-constructed using stone. The oldest part of the church’s structure can be traced back to 1620! Last March, when the church celebrated its 400 year anniversary, Queen Elizabeth II gave St. Peter’s the royal title of Their Majesties’ Chappell. The title is said to have been used in the late 1600’s by King William and Queen Mary.

St. Peter’s Church in St. George is known as the oldest existing Anglican church in continuous use outside the British Isles. The interior of the church is very simple and rustic, with cedar beams, wooden pillars and candlelit chandeliers. The wooden altar in the church, was the original altar, and is the oldest piece of woodwork in Bermuda.

st peters church bermuda

st peters church bermuda

st peters church bermuda

st peters church bermuda

st peters church bermuda

There are numerous other historical pieces in St. Peter’s including the St. George’s Chalice, from the Bermuda Company given to the church in 1625,  a full set of silver, from King William III in 1697,  the communion table made in 1620 by the first settlers, pulpit from 1660, the dole cupboard of 1640 (rumored to be the only one like it in the world), “hog” money which was the first currency on the island found under the floorboards during restoration, and the bishop’s throne from the 1700s.

St. Peter’s graveyard was segregated with black slaves buried to the west of the church, and whites buried on the east side.

st peters church bermuda

st peters church bermuda

Many of Bermuda’s famous residents are buried in the graveyard, including Governor Sir Richard Sharples and his aide, who were assassinated in 1973. There are also some tombstones in the graveyard of St. Peters that are over 3 centuries old, like Midshipman Richard Dale, an American and the last victim of the War of 1812.

st peters church bermuda

st peters church bermuda

st peters church bermuda

st peters church bermuda

st peters church bermuda

st peters church bermuda

Jeana Shandraw

Jeana Shandraw

Rarely caught without a camera, Jeana is an adventurous traveler with a passion for people, cultures and food that has led her to 38 countries in 5 years. When she's not using her powers for social good, she enjoys photography, cooking and building LEGOs with her son. On occasion, you may also find her crocheting cute things to hide in her husband's underwear drawer.

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  1. July 17, 2013 at 9:06 pm — Reply

    The church is so beautiful! I’d love to do some night photography and EVPs in the cemetery, I bet there is a lot of paranormal activity there due to the history of the people buried there!

  2. Susan Broughton
    July 17, 2013 at 2:59 am — Reply

    I have always enjoyed seeing old graveyards. They may not be pretty and clean, but to me I think they are beautiful.

  3. July 15, 2013 at 5:20 pm — Reply

    Thanks for all the photos. I look forward to seeing more of your travels.

  4. Pam B.
    July 14, 2013 at 1:44 pm — Reply

    I have never been to Bermuda, so these pictures are so interesting to me. You got some very nice shots. What is picture of with the red velvet covered cushions in the square? .It is so wonderful that the church is able to use the altar that was salvaged from the hurricane. I love this kind of History. It is so mind boggling sometimes, isn’t it?

  5. Gianna
    July 13, 2013 at 9:33 pm — Reply

    What beautiful pictures! I love visiting historical churches.

  6. Chris Alejandro
    July 8, 2013 at 8:22 am — Reply

    It looks excellent from the outside and in.

  7. amadna roach
    July 2, 2013 at 4:56 am — Reply

    what a beautiful church!

  8. June 30, 2013 at 6:54 pm — Reply

    Wow! What an amazing history and I love the pictures. This is exactly the kind of stuff I like to visit while on vacation.

    • July 14, 2013 at 6:17 pm — Reply

      Same here Melissa, the best memories are made when you get off the resort and explore a bit of the local culture.

  9. June 30, 2013 at 6:13 pm — Reply

    Love to visit other churches and attend mass while on vacation–these are great pictures–thanks for sharing–its a beautiful place

  10. June 30, 2013 at 6:02 pm — Reply

    I have been there! It is gorgeous!!!

  11. June 30, 2013 at 3:56 pm — Reply

    What a gorgeous place! I love visiting churches when I travel.

  12. June 30, 2013 at 3:51 pm — Reply

    Oh, I love this! Reminds me of our daytrip in Nassau, Bahamas. Instead of shopping we did our own walking tour and I loved how the hospital was named after Princess Margaret. As an American I forget the British had colonies in our hemisphere kind of recently!

  13. June 30, 2013 at 3:02 pm — Reply

    That’s just gorgeous!! Thanks for sharing. I love to look at photos of other places.

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