A very warm welcome to Stoke Minster, where 1,300 years of sacred heritage and history are held at the heart of Stoke-on-Trent.. The minster was founded in the 7th century when Christianity was being reestablished in the kingdom of Mercia, around the same time as the Staffordshire Hoard was buried. St Peter’s still boasts its Anglo-Saxon stone font and the shaft of a carved stone Saxon cross. The Minster is one of the few churches dedicated to St. Peter ad Vincula (St. Peter in Chains). This day may have been chosen to replace Lughnasadh, the Celtic harvest celebration which also fell on the 1st August. In Medieval time, Stoke was a large and wealthy parish covering many square miles of what is now the Potteries. In 1826, a new church was build along side the old church, which was then demolished in 1830. Some of the monuments were transferred to the new church and the ruins of the ancient building can still be seen adjacent to the minister. Stoke-on-Trent has no cathedral, so, as the historic and civic church of the city, Stoke Minster fulfills a “cathedral” role in
serving the people of the Potteries. There are also strong links with the industrial heritage of the region, the Minster being the burial place of Josiah Wedgwood, Josiah Spode and many other of the great potters. In 2000 it was the venue for Sir Stanley Matthew’s funeral and the Czech cross given afterwards by the family is also on display a memorial to Stoke’s most famous footballer.
Whether you visit for history or heritage or to experience sacred space you will find your time spent in the Minster is well rewarded. As the Minster for the city we serve the community with many civic and cultural events. The church is also the home of a thriving Christian congregation who meet every Sunday to worship God, continuing the Christian tradition since Anglo-Saxon times.