A small representative congregation gathered Aug. 9 to dedicate a new cross for the steeple of St. Peter’s Church in Lewes. The former wooden cross was destroyed by lightning almost two years ago. The new metal cross, dubbed the Steering Cross, was manufactured by Campbellsville Industries in Kentucky as part of phase one of the Open Door capital campaign to renovate and expand the ministries of St. Peter’s Church. Made primarily of aluminum, the cross is painted with copper and gold leaf; it will be an integral part of the new lightning suppression system for the church sanctuary.
The new cross was presented by parish wardens Sue Potts and Tracy Mulvaney. It was blessed by St. Peter’s clergy including the Rev. Jeffrey Ross, rector; the Rev. Chris Miller-Marcin, deacon; and all of the associate clergy: the Rev. Canon Dr. Mark Harris, the Rev. Carlyle Gill, the Rev. Ray Michener and the Rev. Ted Olson, as part of the brief liturgy.
The Steering Cross, combining a ship’s wheel and a cross, celebrates and brings together the maritime history of Lewes with the 340 years of Christian ministry of the church. The vestry, or church leadership council, has dedicated it to honor Grace Lowe, an active member for more than 60 years and honorary co-chair of the Open Door campaign, for her faithful and loving service. Lowe’s late husband was a river pilot, and her son is an active river pilot. A proclamation was read by her former Sunday school student and longtime Lewes resident Randy Burton.
The former steeple cross was installed in 1870 and has been restored by local craftsman Dean Belt. It will be on permanent display in the restored church crypt.
The Open Door capital campaign is a two-phase effort to refurbish, augment and enhance St. Peter’s square to continue to serve the Lewes community and St. Peter’s membership. Phase one will expand the church worship space and phase two will expand the parish hall. Community contributions to this campaign are gratefully accepted and can be mailed to the church via P.O. Box 464, Lewes, DE 19958.