A little history
St Peter's was build originally as a private house in 1802 for William Weatherill in what was originally called Weatherill Street. Later it was named Church Street, not because of St Peter's but because it was the route up to St Hilda's church in Hinderwell. On William Weatherill's death in 1847, the building passed to his daughter Jane and was bought for £280 pounds to be converted into a school. There were 90 pupils enrolled in 1850.
Although Staithes had many chapels, it was without an Anglican Church. By 1889, the school had been moved to the recently build state school at the top of the bank and the now redundant building was adapted and licensed for worship and dedicated to St Peter the Fisherman.
The lower room has been used for all sorts of village events since the 1940s. Concerts, coffee mornings, ladies meetings, parties and wedding receptions, Christmas Fayres, whist drives and bingo sessions. Later there was a rowing club, with the boats stored in the garden, bands, dances and exhibitions of Staithes paintings. There was also an occasional traveling cinema that played to full houses.
And eventually, all the organisation for the new Staithes Carnival was held at St Peter's, the forerunner of the very popular Staithes Arts and Heritage Festival and the Staithes Weekender.
St Peter's Centre has been given a long term lease on the building from York Diocese and enjoys plenty of helpful support from the local PCC.
The Staithes Arts and Crafts Centre has been with us for more than twenty years. The Centre is open in the downstairs room from Easter to late October providing a much needed outlet for about 20 local artist and crafters. The SAAC donate a percentage of their takings as 'rent' which covers the day-to-day maintenance of the Centre and other expenses. SAAC are also at the heart of fundraising for the building renovation project.
We have monthly church services upstairs (please come and visit the church) and a packed house for Christmas Carols.
Community events include the popular monthly cafe, singing groups, cinema, theatre, concerts, exhibitions and workshops of all kinds. We are proud to be the organiser and hub for the Staithes Weekender and host Heritage events for the Staithes Arts and Heritage Festival.