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A rapid expansion of Didcot began in the mid-1840s following the arrival of the railway. The new settlement of New Town began in the mid-1860s, later becoming North Hagbourne and eventually Northbourne. Building of a new church began in 1889, funded by GWR shareholders, and it was dedicated for worship in 1890 and given the name of St Peter’s.
Following further expansion to the west, a three hundred year old Tythe Barn was purchased in the late 1930s by the Church Authorities to serve the needs of the people living in the new houses built off Park Road. This was known as the daughter church of St Frideswide’s, known locally as ‘The Barn’. Sadly in 1974 it was burnt to the ground by an arsonist.
By this time St Peter’s was in a bad condition and a decision was made to build a new church nearer to the middle of the parish. Work commenced in 1976. The old church was deconsecrated and the new St Peter’s consecrated in 1977.
The main altar is made from Kirkstone slate from the Lake District. This slate forms some of the oldest work in the world. The side chapel is dedicated in honour of Saint Frideswide; the altar was made from the altar from the old Saint Peter's church.
The weather vane and cross on the roof were made by British Rail Workshops at Swindon. In an attempt to maintain the link between the railway and the parish (the shareholders of the old G.W.R. paid 1shilling each towards the building of the original church) it was suggested that these were made by the apprentices. The vane is a G.W.R. King class 4-6-0 steam locomotive.
The altar hanging was designed and made by the sisters at Turvey Abbey just after the new church was consecrated and the triptych was painted in 2000 by Sr. Regina, of Turvey Abbey.
2015/2016 | £500