The 14th Century Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul stands on the banks of the River Great Ouse and its spire dominates the southern approach to Olney. St Peter and St Paul is an Anglican church with a large congregation and welcomes many tourists each year.
The Church is where slave trader turned abolitionist John Newton – author of the hymn Amazing Grace – served as curate from 1764 to 1779. You can see a stain glass image of him at the church, as well as a representation of his ship in storm during which he converted to Christianity. More information is available from the John Newton Project http://www.johnnewton.org/
The top of the famous spire at St.Peter and St.Paul has a weather cock inscribed:
"I never crow but stand to show whence winds do blow. 1829".The top of the spire was restored in 1884 and is a different colour. The spire reaches a height of 185 feet [56.5 m.].
After an appeal to raise funds, the bells of the church have recently been restored and can now be heard ringing out across Olney again. Visitors are welcome. Reverend Claire Wood became the Rector of the church in Spring 2009. Timetable of services is on the next page....