Courtesy of Roger Thorne
Here we undertake the task of presenting the rich fabric of people and events surrounding the 300 year old parish which later came to be called Saint Peter’s Church in the Great Valley. We explore details of three centuries of parish life, events, and individual parishioners as this parish has served, and continues to serve, God within this community.
This Section is divided into three primary subdivisions:
The history of this parish, and the Great Valley in which it resides, is incredibly rich and complex. We will portray the original settlers within this portion of William Penn’s Land Grant, primarily Welsh men and women who came to make up the original congregation. We will tell the story of the American Revolution within this pivotal geography, so near Philadelphia yet so different, and examine the impact of battles and privations upon the inhabitants and parishioners. And we will describe the life of this fascinating parish, its “ebbs and flows” through three centuries of American history. “Official” records from a small country parish are often frustratingly incomplete, so we will at times broaden our reference base to document this narrative.
Regretably, because of catastrophe and neglect, no official parish records of births, baptisms and burials at the Church of Saint Peter in the Great Valley exist prior to 1850. However, in the early 1920s, a meticulous parishioner completed a detailed transcription of well over 400 burials within the old churchyard, beginning with the year 1737, which we present here.
For answers to specific questions about this historic church, or to contribute your information and artifacts, please contact the Parish Historian.