Roman Catholic Church of St Peter Gorleston-on-Sea Norfolk
Shortly after his arrival in 1928, of a new Catholic Priest Thomas Walker, the Catholic
community in Gorleston was left a large legacy with which to build itself a proper church.
Walker, a friend of the Gill family and an admirer of Eric Gill's work, asked him to design
a church for the parish.
Work began on the church in 1938, and was completed before the outbreak of the Second World
War. Just about everything here is Gill's, although some of it was completed on his behalf,
because he was already very ill and died of cancer in 1940.
The quiet red brick of the church exterior hides an interior of quiet yet breath-taking
beauty. Gill created a cruciform church around a central altar, a fairly revolutionary
idea in the 1930s but one which would become commonplace after the reforms of the Second
Vatican Council in the 1960s. The tower above the altar is supported on pointed crossing
arches springing from the floor, and these arches are repeated throughout the building.
It is said that Gill had some doubt that the arches would succeed in supporting the tower,
and it was not until the workmen removed the supports that it was realised that they would.
Gill made the altar and font in his High Wycombe workshop, and it is his lettering around
the base of the altar. Some of the decorative details within the church, like the fresco
in the tower, were completed by his son-in-law Denis Tegetmeier to Gill's designs.
An incised brick carving of St Peter the Fisherman by Anthony Foster to Gill's design.
Wall paintings of Christ's Entry to Jerusalem and Christ Carrying the Cross, by Gills Son in Law Denis Tegetmeier.