Empingham Village web site


St Peter's Church Empingham

The Building

The church was built mainly in the 13th century, and the tower, South Picture of church exteriorporch and West front added about 1300 -1330. In the 15th century the roof was raised and round clerestory windows replaced with larger ones; one remains opening onto the North transept. Carved figures were added on the roof and some lancet windows replaced with perpendicular ones. There were six altars: the high altar, two in each transept and one by the font. Their positions are indicated by the piscinas consisting of a niche with a drain for cleansing the communion vessels.

In December 2003 the then unused South porch was converted into a toilet and servery, and in 2009 a nave altar and platform installed.

The Clergy

It was a Prebendal church under the jurisdiction of the bishops of Lincoln until about 1870. A complete list of the prebendaries dates from 1221, and the vicars and rectors from 1245. These lists can be seen on the West wall.


Originally the walls were covered by paintings. In the South transept part of a painting of the Virgin Mary can be seen and in the North transept the heads of St Anne and St Joachim. An extensive restoration took place in 1894 and the pews replaced by chairs. These were replaced in 2014.
Interior view of church

Stained glass windowOnly one window, above the font, has stained glass. This depicts Simeon holding Jesus with Mary and Anna nearby. Recently an embroidery depicting "Peace" was hung in the chancel, another depicting St Peter's catch of fish in the South porch. To celebrate the millennium a map of the village was made and placed on the North wall. This showed every house in the village at that time.


A comprehensive record of details of the building and furniture was compiled by members of the Rutland NADFAS. In 1981 the local Womens Institute listed all the gravestones in the churchyard in a document which is available in the church for those seeking family ancestors. The Leicestershire Records Office have registers of Baptisms up to 1932, Burials to 1956 and Marriages to 1991. After those dates they are held in the church.

Renovation of the pipe organ in Empingham Church.

Picture of organ At this date (14th February) we hope that the work will be complete in May 2020.

The organ is being renovated by Malcolm Spink Ltd of Leeds. It will be partially dismantled so that access to all areas can be gained for vacuum cleaning and servicing. All the pipes will have their tone creating parts reset and their sound tested on a special voicing machine.
The various mechanisms operating the pipe valves and the stops will be repaired as necessary. A new motorised blower will be fitted.

After the renovation

As part of the National Lottery grant, next year will see the delivery of a series of exciting school and community activities at St Peter’s, to celebrate the restoration of our organ. The organ will be adapted to make it possible to see all the internal parts. The side panels will be unlocked and removed and internal lights switched on. This will be done when an authorised person can explain the various parts and how they operate.

On 20th June a lunchtime recital will be held. David Hill a well known organist will be playing. More details in the Parish Magazine.

Details of the organ

It was built by Henry Jackson of Stamford in 1895. 58 reed pipes are tuned by adjusting the small reed within each pipe. 552 fluepipes are tuned by shortening or extending their effective length. This makes 610 in total. There are two keyboards and a pedal board. Each keyboard has 5 stops which select the timbre required e.g. flute, oboe etc.

Access to the church

Normally during daylight hours the door at the West end above the steps is kept open. The North door is kept locked except for services. Access by wheelchair is possible along the path from the North gate. Instructions as to how to obtain the key for the North door are in the notice boards. A portable ramp can be used down the two steps into the church.

To view the web site for the Rutland Water Benefice please click here.