Points of interest
This is positioned on the balcony at the west end of the church and is a three manual pipe organ, thought to have been built by Gray and Davidson for St Paul’s Church in Middlesbrough. When St Paul’s closed in 1965 the organ was bought for Redcar, dismantled by volunteers and rebuilt in its present position by the organ builder J W Walker. (The former organ was sited at the east end of the church, with pipes either side of the chancel).
The War Memorial
This is mounted on the south wall and contains all the names
of the people of Redcar who died in the Great War. A book of
remembrance commemorates those who died in the second world war
This memorial is the only full record of those who died, as the town
cenotaph only commemorates the fallen collectively.
Further east on the south wall is a memorial to one of Redcar’s fisherman heroes, James Robert Carter, who sacrificed his life to save that of a colleague.
Just inside the Lady Chapel are two memorials to Flying Officer Stewart Ridley who lost his life in 1916 in the Libyan Desert. The wooden cross originally marked his grave in the desert. His family gave Redcar its original Public Library in his memory. A plaque commemorating this can be seen outside the Health Centre, which was built on the site of the library.
The Altar & Reredos
The altar was bought by a collection from the Sunday Schools and other Church organisations and is of carved oak. Above it is a Reredos, carved by ‘Mousey’ Thompson of Kilburn in 1939, who said that he had never made anything that had given him greater pleasure. Can you spot his trademark mouse? The painted design by Leslie Moore shows the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child surrounded by the Northern Saints.
The east window dates from the late nineteenth century, before the Lady Chapel existed.The stained glass panels shown at the side of this website depict the outer panels of this window. Originally the two central panels were below the outer ones when it was sited on the earlier wall at the east end of the church. (The same was true of the window you see as you ascend the stairs in the south east corner of the building). You can see how this would make the inscriptions along the bottom read correctly. It is dedicated to the Revd W. Milburn, vicar from 1854-1884. The four oval pieces in the windows on the north wall depicting John the Baptist, Christ, St Paul and St Peter also predate the Lady Chapel. They are all that is left of the main east window of the church that was dismantled when the chancel extension was built. The dedication is to the Revd Joseph Wilkinson, the first vicar of St Peter’s. The two pieces depicting St Matthew and the Holy Spirit (the Dove) are actually much more recent additions in the 1990’s in memory of a former PCC treasurer (hence St Matthew with his money), which closely follow the design of the earlier four.
The Zetland Rooms
Through the door to the right of the sanctuary are the ‘Zetland’ rooms, formed in 1989 from the old Chancel, Children’s Chapel and vestries during one of the recent extensive restorations. The construction of these rooms was a necessity as a structural survey of the chancel arch indicated a major weakness. This could best be solved by putting steel bracing across the arch at about 12 feet above ground level, hence creating a base for a floor at this point. It made sense to close off the arch and create the suite of rooms and facilities you see now.
Upstairs you can obtain a good view of the east window, installed in 1939 as a memorial to Sir William Turner, former Lord Mayor of London and founder of Sir William Turner’s grammar School (now part of Cleveland Tertiary College) and the Kirkleatham Alms Houses. As well as Christ (both crucified and reigning in glory) and Saints Peter, Nicholas and Bartholmew, it shows Sir William Turner in his Lord Mayor’s robes, holding a model of the first school (the present Kirkleatham Museum) with the almshouses behind.
The Oak panelling below the window was originally positioned below the Reredos and was also carved by ‘Mousey’ Thompson – again with a mouse. If you look up you can see a number of coats of arms, including the one for the former Borough of Redcar, inaugurated in St Peter’s in 1922.