On Sunday, 2 June 2019, St. Peter’s, Château d’Oex organised a special event to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the church. The congregation was delighted to welcome the Rt. Revd. Dr. Robert Innes, Anglican Bishop in Europe, accompanied by his wife Helen.

During his talk, Bishop Robert remembered the early pioneers who had worked tirelessly to establish the church 120 years earlier. He was struck by the beauty of the church after the recent renovation and thanked all those involved in this major project. When researching St. Peter's, Bishop Robert had been amazed to discover a photograph of the original consecration document. This was signed by his predecessor, Bishop T.E Wilkinson, Anglican Bishop of North Europe, 117 years ago.

After the communion service, Bishop Robert joined the congregants in a buffet dinner held in the north aisle of the church.

St. Peter's is one of the seventy or so Anglican churches built in Switzerland from the early 1850s. Like many other Anglican churches in the Swiss Alpine valleys, land was donated to ICS by one of the prominent hotels-in this case, the Hotel Berthod. Although the foundation stone of the church was laid in June 1899, the church was only consecrated in 1902. It was a sign of the times, and the popularity of Château d'Oex with British tourists, that, in the early 1900s St. Peter's had to hold up to four services each Sunday. In 1905 the Church was deemed to be too small and enlarged with the addition of a north aisle.

Extensive restoration of St. Peter’s was undertaken in 2017 and 2018. Electrical wiring in the church, dating to the 1930s, was replaced and new heating elements were installed under the pews with radiators along the north aisle. The stained glass windows on the north and south aisle were restored and triple glazing added to prevent heat loss. The inside of the church was completely repainted.

Today, St. Peter's is one of the only remaining Anglican churches in the Swiss Alps that continues to hold regular services each Sunday. It remains the cherished spiritual home to an international group of anglophone residents and second-homers.

Guy Girardet