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The parish of Saint Peter is one of twelve parishes in Jersey in the channel islands. it has both a west and a smaller southeastern coast with Saint Ouen's Bay being at the west coast and Saint Aubin's Bay at its southeastern coast. The parish is surrounded by four parishes: Saint Ouen, Saint Mary, Saint Laurence, and Saint Brelade. It is he only parish which shares a border with Saint Brelade. There are five vingtaines in the parish, and they are La Vingtaine du Douet, La Vingtaine de St. Nicolas, La Grande Vingtaine, La Vingtaine des Augerez, and La Vingtaine du Coin Varin.

The Jersey Airport is in Saint Peter, having grown from the small airport it was in 1912. The airport accommodated a few seaplane which landed on the beach of Aubin Bay in southeastern Saint Peter, and some biplanes. At high tide, planes which needed mechanical work had to be dragged up a boat ramp until the tide went out. In fact, plane schedules depended upon the tides. In 1937, the States of Jersey built a new airport with four grass runways and a centerline made of concrete. In the first year of its opening, approximately 20,000 travelers had flown into the airport in Saint Peter.

On November 4, 1938, an airliner had just begun its takeoff when it crashed to the ground in Saint Berlade, just 457 metres east of the airport. The pilot, all twelve passengers, and a farmhand named Edmund Le Cornu who was working on the farm, were killed. The cause of the accident was ruled as pilot error.

In June of 1940, all commercial flights into the Islands were suspended. For the next few days, the airport operated as a staging post for planes full of people who were fleeing France. Four hundred passengers were evacuated in three days, after which it was realized that evacuation by boat would be possible. German soldiers landed at the airport on July, 1940 and began their famous, long occupation of the Channel Islands. During the occupation, the Luftwaffe built hangars, including the Jersey Airlines hangar which still stands though it is not used anymore, and added concrete runways. They would remain in Saint Peter, as in all of the parishes in both Jersey and Guernsey, They would remain an occupying force until the liberation on May 9, 1945.

After the liberation, the airport was built up more and repaired where necessary, and by the 1970s, Jersey Airport in Saint Peter was the sixth busiest airport in Europe.

Saint Peter's Parish Church has stood for more than a millennium. There is mention of the church tithing to the Abbey of Saint Sauveur le Vicomte in 1053. A chancel, nave, transepts, and two aisles are contained in the church building, and a gigantic square tower and a tapering, quadrilateral steeple made of stone. It is 38 metres tall, making it the tallest steeple in all of Jersey.

There are two huge bells in the spire of the parish church. The first is called Elizabeth and was installed in 1649, and the second is called Mary and was installed in 1754. They are named in honor of the mother of Saint John the Baptist and the the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. For centuries, there has been a tradition in the western parishes of Saint Peter, Saint Ouen, and Saint Mary whereby the bells are rung continuously on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The custom was begun in celebration of a victory over France in the fifteenth century but was nearly immediately picked up in order to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and proclaiming the love of God through the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

 

 

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