St. Peter’s Church in the Great Valley has been home to a resident flock of sheep since 2003. Sheep appear all throughout scripture, and are best personified for us in the verse from Psalm 100: “We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
The headstones within the original cemetery walls couldn’t withstand the wear and tear of modern day lawn equipment. Sheep have provided the perfect solution: they’re the resident lawn mowers and weed eaters. Sheep play a very important role at St. Peter’s in helping to maintain an environmentally and historically friendly lawn care program.
The current St. Peter’s flock is a crossbred mix which includes Southdown, Dorset, and Leicester (pronounced “Lester”) Longwool breeds. Both the Southdown and Dorset breeds originated centuries ago in England and remain popular with sheep breeders today. The Leicester Longwool breed, which also originated in England, is considered a rare breed. The sire of the St. Peter’s flock can trace his heritage to the Leicester Longwools included in Colonial Williamsburg’s Rare Breeds program. St. Peter’s sheep are provided through the generosity of Colonel and Mrs. Robert Wiltshire.