As the Alps became of greater interest to travellers in Europe in the 19th century, Zermatt became very popular as a destination for mountaineers, and demand grew for church services in English. Initially these were laid on in an hotel, but it was increasingly obvious that an Anglican church was a necessity and the Intercontinental Church Society [ICS] (then the Colonial and Continental Church Society) was approached. Donations began to come in from 1865 onwards to fund the purchase of land and the building project. The foundation stone was laid in 1869, and the church opened for services in 1870.

ICS still owns and maintains the building, and provides the chaplains during the Summer and Winter seasons who conduct services and work in the resort to share the love and Good News of Jesus Christ.

The church has a significant place in Alpine history; the fame of Zermatt (particularly in the light of the Matterhorn ascent and disaster of 1865) meant that many visitors attended the church. The church contains commemorative plaques to famous Alpinists (including several members of the British Alpine Club) and others such as an RAF pilot who died in 1940. Several mountaineers are also buried here including Charles Hudson who died in the Matterhorn disaster and who is interred below the altar.

St. Peter's story is told in Cicely Williams' A Church in the Alps, copies of which (currently only in English) are on sale on the bookstall in the church.

The building consists of a nave of four bays with an apsidal east end, and a vestry at the south-east end of the nave. It has solid walls with an exposed stone base, a metal clad dual pitched roof, and a timber panelled ceiling and lower walls. Major internal and external renovation was carried out between 1998 and 2000.  

Following the celebrations in 2010 of the 140th anniversary, funds were raised to make internal improvements to the church.  As a result, new heating and lighting was installed in 2013 (augmented in 2016) and a sound amplification system, with induction loop for the hard of hearing were installed in 2014.  Most recently, the roof was replaced in 2018.