St. Peter's Church Bermuda

Located in the historic town of St. George, St. Peter's Church is believed to be the oldest continually used Anglican church in the Western hemisphere. 
This present building of the church was not however the first house of worship to stand on this site. It replaced a 1612 structure made of wooden posts and palmetto thatched roof that was destroyed in a storm. 
St Peters Church Bermuda 
Photo: JoeyBagODonuts, cc by sa 3.0 
The present church was extended in 1713 with the tower and wings being added in the 19th century. The oldest part of the church is the area around the triple-tier pulpit. 
The present church has its walls made of limestone and has a limestone slate roof supported by a framework made of Bermuda Cedars. There is a wide flight of stairs at the front of the church on the northern side. 
The first Bermuda Parliament met at the St. Peters Church in 1620, making it the 3rd oldest parliament in the world. The church inside has a wonderful and simplistic ambience with exposed cedar beams in the ceiling, rough wooden pillars and candlelit chandeliers. 
The church has many treasures. Inside you will see the altar from the original structure. It was built in 1615 under the supervision of Bermuda’s first governor, Richard Moore. 
This is the oldest piece of woodwork in Bermuda. The font of St Peters church is over 500 years old and was brought to Bermuda by the first settlers. 
Inside St Peters Church 
St Peters Church Bermuda 
Photo: Malcom Manners, flickr 
The late 18th-century bishop's throne is believed to have been salvaged from a shipwreck. There's also a fine collection of communion silver from the 1600s in the vestry. 
As you walk outside to the churchyard, you can see two graveyards. A walled area to the west of the church was for black slaves. The one on the east was reserved for whites. 
St Peters Church is an important site on the African Diaspora Heritage Trail of Bermuda that traces the legacy of Bermuda's slavery. In 1698, St. George had a population of 1,124. One-third of that were blacks who were mostly brought in from Africa as slaves. 
Graveyard at St. Peter's Church 
Graveyard at St. Peter’s Church 
Photo: Robyn Fleming, flickr 
As the blacks started becoming Christians, they too were entitled to Christian burials. So a separate graveyard was added by extending the existing one towards western side. It was done in the latter 1600s for burial of the blacks. 
You will see that like many other churches in Bermuda, St. Peter's Church also has a separate gallery at the western side so that the blacks could attend the services. 
This gallery was built in the early 1700s. The entrance to this gallery was through a separate door at the north west corner of the church. 
The church graveyard was closed for burials in mid-19th century as new cemeteries were built in St. George. 
As you walk around the graveyard, you can see graves of some prominent Bermudians, including Governor Sir Richard Sharplesas well his aide-de-camp Captain Hugh Sayers who were both assassinated in 1973. 
Some of the tombstones in the Graveyard of St. Peters are more than 3 centuries old. You'll find the grave of Midshipman Richard Sutherland Dale, an American who was the last victim of the War of 1812. 
He was a 20-year old young soldier who was brought injured at St. George's. The people of St. George took delicate care of Dale but he died in February 1815. 
His body was buried at St. Peter's Church graveyard. For a long time a ceremony was held here in his honor on the America's Memorial Day. Even now a memorial and a dinner is sponsored by the Friends of St. Peter's Church every year in his honor. 
St. Peter's Church Imagery 
Rotate the image for 360° view 
It is believed that other than Dale, several other Americans including 14 American prisoners of the war were also buried at this churchyard. 
Other notable graves here are that of slave pilot Jemmy Darrell, Governor George James Bruere, Ann Bingham who was known as the 'Jackie Kennedy' of American Revolution, etc. 
Close to the back entrance of the St Peters Church you can also find a 500-year old cedar tree; its branches once bore the church’s bell. 
In March 2012 during the 400th anniversary of St. Peter's Church, Queen Elizabeth-II of England had honored the church with the royal title "Their Majesties Chapell". Note the double 'L's in the word Chapell. Such term for a church was first used in the late 1600s. 

Visiting Hours

10am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday all throughout the year. 
Closed on Sundays (except for worship), Christmas day, Boxing day and New Year. 


  • Admission is free, however donations are encouraged (suggested $5). 
  • Guided group tour of the church can be arranged with advance notice. 
  • Visitors on wheelchair can access the church through the door behind. The main entry to the church has 26 steps to negotiate to reach up to the front Cedar door. 

    Regular Services

  • Sunday service at 11am (Holy Eucharist - with organ and choir using Common Worship and Sunday School). 
  • Wednesday service at 9:30am (Holy Communion - a traditional common worship at the 1612 Communion table). 

    Location, Contacts, How to reach, Fares

    Address: 33 Duke of York Street, St. George's Town. 
    Parish Office Phone: 441/297-2459; Email: [email protected] 
    Check out Bermuda Tourist Map to view the location and other nearby attractions. 
    While coming from the dockyard (Kings Wharf), you can take the direct Orange Route Ferry to St George (takes 35 minutes, this is the shortest route). 
    However, the ferry operates only in summers, has only limited runs and does not operate on Saturdays and Sundays. 
    Alternatively, take the Blue Route Ferry from dockyard to Hamilton City. From there, take bus #1, 3, 10 or 11 to St George's Town (takes about 1 hour). From the town center of St George (Kings Square), St Peter's Church is only 1-2 minute walk. 
    Ferry fare is $4.50 by token and $5.00 by cash for both Orange and Blue Routes, and same for bus. You can also use a 14-zone ticket in both bus and ferry from a pack of 15 (the pack costs $37.50). 
    Road Map 

    Nearby Attractions, shops & Eateries

    There are several places of historical interest nearby, such as 
  • St. George's Historical Society Museum on Duke of Kent street, 
  • The Bermuda Heritage Museum on Water street, 
  • Bermuda National Trust Museum at Kings Square which was earlier the famous Globe Hotel, 
  • St. George Post Office, 
  • Tuckers House Museum on Water Street, 
  • the Richard Allen African Methodist Church, 
    For a complete list of nearby attractions, check out Great attractions in St. George
    There are some nice places to shop around here: 
  • Sweet Saak on York street (home style bakery products), 
  • Lili  Bermuda perfumery located at Stewart Hall on Queen street... you can purchase great island perfumes here. 
  • The Somers Wharf on Water Street (a shopping complex with variety of stores and dining venues) 
    There are several eateries and restaurants nearby: 
  • Temptations Cafe on York Street (right next to St. Peter's Church at the base of the steps), 
  • Wahoo's Bistro and Patio is a waterside venue on Water street that serves great seafood. 
  • For a simple meal like omelets with raisin bread and coffee, or sandwiches and burgers, go down to Mama Angies (48 York Street). 
  • White Horse Pub and Restaurant at King's Square, 
  • Wong's Golden Dragon on York Street serves great Chinese cuisine, 
  • The Wharf Restaurant and Bar on Water Street, 
    For complete list of restaurants nearby and their offerings, visit St. George's Restaurants and Bars
    Raj BhattacharyaBy Raj Bhattacharya 
    Raj, a seasoned travel writer and Bermuda destination expert, has extensive global travel experience. This website reflects his profound insights, garnered over nearly two decades of dedicated findings and research on the island. Raj has assisted countless Bermuda-bound visitors by providing direct, personalized responses to their queries and imparting his wealth of knowledge through this platform. This site serves as an indispensable guide for those seeking informed and reliable insights into Bermuda's treasures. 
    Know more about Raj Bhattacharya 

    Related Articles

    1) Check out Bermuda Churches to know about the other great churches in Bermuda. 
    2) Check out Bermuda Sightseeing for the top places to visit in Bermuda 
    3) Check out St George Bermuda to find out other great attractions in the area. 

    Visitors' Reviews and Comments

    Tom Brasser (May 2013) 
    I wish to thank you so much for placing an American Flag in front to the grave and marble covering for Midshipman who was wounded in 1812-14. You in Bermuda cared for him until he died. His parents sent the marble memorial cover to his grave and it is STILL there for viewing. 
    Raj ( May 2013 
    Hi, yes it's the grave of Richard Sutherland Dale who died in 1815. Even today, the Friends of St. Peter's Church sponsor an annual memorial service and dinner in honor of Dale. 
    Tom Brasser (May 2013) 
    GOD BLESS you all for your concern, and even going the extra time and money to place an American flag in front of his grave; or I would probably have walked on by.  I was also very much impressed with your museum when they had four photographs and summary on T/Sgt Edward Joseph Brennan USAF who had been KiA over Germany in February 1945. Although he was a Bermudan having moved to your island when he was 12. He joined the RAF in Aug 1940 at 18 and flew as a gunner until transferring to USAAF in 1943. Just thought you like to know. Old Tom