Probably the oldest antiquity in the parish, still in regular use, the Listed Grade One twelfth century St Peterís Church is a central characteristic of the village. It provides the village clock and, thanks to a long tradition of bellringers, the regular sound of the six bells that hang in the bell tower. It also provides the Parish Burial Ground in which there is interesting record of parishioners over the centuries.
Whether you have attended a service Ė a baptism, marriage or funeral Ė if not regular worship Ė as a local resident you will be aware of the existence of the building at the heart of the village.
St Peterís congregation is based on an electoral role (the churchís system of recording the number of people who elect to be recognised as regular churchgoers) of 76. Although there is a wide variation in church attendance depending on the occasion, the weekly congregation is between thirty and forty. At Christmas and Easter attendance increases to eighty or ninety and for special events, often more than a hundred. The evidence therefore is that the church of St Peter, Meavy continues to be an important part of neighbourhood life.
The rules of the Church of England require a competent person to examine the structure and fixtures and fittings every five years (the Quinquennial Report) and the defects or repairs identified become the responsibility of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) a committee elected from the congregation by those on the Electoral Role. These costs can be kept to a minimum by regular care and maintenance carried out by the congregation under the direction of the PCC and in the case of St Peterís, a visit to the church will reveal that a good deal of TLC is regularly provided resulting in a well kept, warm and comforting atmosphere. However, as might be expected in a building so old, there are exceptional repairs necessary from time to time and most of us as homeowners with twentieth century property, know the responsibility for the upkeep of buildings.
The financial responsibility for this ancient monument does not reflect its relationship with the wider community, resting as it does, on the shoulders of the 76 people who register as churchgoers, although the local Parish Council (Local Government) recognises the wider interest by subscribing specifically to the cost of the upkeep of the churchyard (Burial Ground) but beyond this, the church community is left to ensure the survival of the property.
Believing there to be a good measure of support in the wider community (and further afield) for the church of St Peter, it was proposed that a formal ďFriends of St Peterís Church, MeavyĒ be established with charity status to enable tax free contributions. The sole object of the group to be to assist with the maintenance and upkeep of the structure and its contents as distinct from the activities of the church community. The group, which will be a completely separate organisation and will not impinge on or replace the responsibility of the PCC for the church in its entirety, will nevertheless work in conjunction with the church authority.