In the late 1940's, families in the village of Birch Cove found it difficult to attend St. John's Anglican Church in Fairview. Instead, many chose to attend services held at the small United church in Rockingham. Aware of the need for an Anglican church in Rockingham, Florence Dakin, on her death, left land to St. John's Church with the wish that it be used as the site for an Anglican church. The land in Birch Cove included a pine covered knoll which sloped down to a tidal pond. It was agreed that a mission church to St. John's would be built on that site with the front of the church facing Dakin Drive.
Donations and pledges were collected on a monthly basis. Construction of St. Peter's was begun in the spring of 1951 and the cornerstone laid on April 30th. The church was dedicated in October of the same year by the Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Robert Harold Waterman, with 200 people attending the first service. A number of their family members are still worshipping in St. Peter's today.
As a mission church of St. John's, the first minister was Rev. George Bickley, 1950, followed by Rev. George Arnold, 1951-1953 and Rev. Wilfred Meadus, 1953-1960. As a free standing Anglican church, St. Peter's was blessed with three ministers from 1960 until 1992. They were Rev. Douglas Haviland, 1960-1965, Rev. Wildred Meadus, 1966-1970, and Rev. Vernon Cluett, 1970-1992. Canon Philip and Ruth Jefferson served as interim ministers between January and July of 1993. Rev. Dr. Timothy Appleton became our minister on August 1st, 1993. We mourned the passing of the Rev. Dr. Timothy Appleton in September 2002, while in service as rector. Rev. James Purchase was priest-in-charge from 2002-2003. Rev. Jane Clattenburg was our minister 2003-2008 and Rev. Robert Richmond 2008 - 2013. David Dellapinna, Oct 2013 - 2017.
In naming the church it was felt that St. Peter's was appropriate since the two nearest Anglican churches were named St. James and St. John's. In 1960, St. Peter's became a parish. In 1962, the 'tidal pond' was filled to allow access from Kearney Lake Road, and H.W. Corkum Construction began work on 'Dakin Hall'. The new hall was officially opened in 1964 by Bishop, The Most Rev. William Wallace Davis.
St. Peter's has always been a community church and in 1955 opened its doors to the Boy Scouts of Canada. The 1st Birch Cove Scouts were active for many years and used the hall as their home base. Dakin Hall is still the home to many active groups, including the Boy Scouts of Canada.
St. Peter's Anglican Church serves the area of Clayton Park West and South Bedford, although families travel from beyond this area. It is one of the fastest growing areas in metro, and this growth has brought new families to the parish, resulting in a diverse and enriched congregation. St. Peter's maintains its reputation as a community church and welcomes all to its doors.