The Story of St Peter

 

Our school is proud to be linked with our local church, St Peter’s church, Chailey.

St Peter’s Church was founded in 1256 and it was instrumental in setting up our school in 1853.  Our first headteacher was the Reverend Francis R Hepburn who was rector at the church from 1851 until 1894.

Some of our children have asked who St Peter was and why he was so important. Many know that he was one of Jesus’ disciples and at first he was called Simon. This changed to Simon Peter and eventually he became Peter who was a very important apostle. He was chosen by Jesus as one of his twelve apostles, or followers, to spread The Word of God and preach the news about Christianity. Peter was a fisherman from Galilee. Jesus invited Peter to follow him, saying: "I will make you a fisher of men." Peter was a simple, hard-working man. He was generous, honest and loved Jesus very much.

Peter was known as one of Jesus’ most loyal disciples.

But why is the cockerel a symbol of our school?

We have a cockerel as our school logo and on our notepaper we also have keys.

Before Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane and subsequently crucified, he had a Last Supper with his disciples.  At the Last Supper Jesus said that Peter would deny that he knew him. Peter did not believe that he would ever deny that he knew Jesus, as he felt he was loyal and strong in his faith and his support.

But Jesus told him that he would deny he knew him and disown him three times ‘before the cockerel crowed’. The story from the bible says that Jesus was proved right and Peter, worried for his own safety, did deny that he knew Jesus.

We are told that Peter cried bitterly and repented that he had not been strong enough in his faith for Jesus but he did spend the rest of his life reaching out to others and preaching The Word of God. Peter went on to become a strong apostle and the leader of the early Christian church in Jerusalem.

The Keys

In the Gospel of Matthew 16:19, Jesus said to Peter, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

The Roman Catholic Church recognises Peter, St Peter, as the very first pope and the most influential of all Jesus’ disciples and the keys are seen as a symbol of papal authority.

You can find more information about St. Peter’s Church and its thriving community on the website www.stpeterschailey.org