The Parish of St. Peter’s was formed in 1875 out of Holy Trinity Parish, which itself had been carved out of Stockton parish in 1837. The original church was built of wood and stood on the corner of Cranbourne Terrace and Walter Street. The first incumbent, Rev. Henry Woodman (1875-1905), oversaw the building of the existing brick building which was dedicated on 13 October, 1881, at a cost of almost £6,000.
Within 3 years, an organ had been installed, and this was replaced by an Abbot and Smith instrument in 1890. In 1886, the vicarage was completed, and the bell was given by Joseph Cradock, in thanks for recovery from illness. The Parish Hall behind the church was built in 1893, and updated in 1933. It was used for the Sunday School until the new Parish Room was created in the church building following restoration after the1995 fire.
The boundaries of the parish were altered in 1928, part of the parish going into the altered St. Paul’s parish, and again in the 1960s, when the area of Fairfield was formed into the parish of St. Mark’s church.
The township of Hartburn had been included in St. Peter’s parish since 1875, although not absorbed into the Borough of Stockton until 1913, and the schoolroom there was used as a mission hall on Sundays. The school moved to new premises in 1911, and All Saints’ Church was dedicated on 25 June 1913. The summer fetes were held at Hartburn, in the grounds of Elmwood House and Parkwood House from the 1930s until 1979, when it moved into the precincts of St.Peter’s.
Other mission rooms in Grove Street and Light Pipe Hall Road were short lived, and St. Gabriel’s, between Eton and Windsor Roads on Oxbridge Lane, was opened in 1926, but only lasted 5 years, partly because of the redrawing of the boundaries of St. Paul’s parish.
Since 1876, there have been 10 vicars, and many, many curates – a number of whom have gone on to higher things, being made Bishops. The choir, which has always held a high reputation for its work, has also contributed at least 7 ordained ministers from their ranks. Since 2001, the choir has welcomed girls into the soprano line.
In May 2017 we welcomed our current priest, Fr Bill Braviner, to the parish with a joyful celebration led by the Bishop of Jarrow.