(C of E) ‘Traditional doesn’t mean boring’ – a medieval parish church growing for the future

The church of St John the Baptist, in the centre of Peterborough, has a remarkable history, not least the 16th Century parish sexton who conducted the funerals of Katherine of Aragon and Mary Queen of Scots, who are buried in the nearby cathedral.

But when the latest vicar, the Rev Michelle Dalliston, arrived two years ago, some were beginning to be concerned for the church’s future.

After years of slow decline in numbers, the combination of Covid followed by a period without a vicar, had taken its toll: confidence was waning and the building was only able to open for services, a Saturday café and a Tuesday lunchtime concert series.

Two years on it is “buzzing”, open most days in the week with everything from support for homeless people and a variety of NHS and other drop-in services to a busy café, revitalised lunchtime concerts with professional musicians, and a myriad of other events and activities.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Evangelism and Church Growth