Legally known as The Church of St. Peter ad Vincula, it was informally renamed Stoke Minster in 2005 in recognition of the important role it plays in the civic life of Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire. The dedication to St. Peter ad Vincula ("Saint Peter in Chains") is an ancient and unusual one derived from the Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome.
The first church on the site was built in wood in 670. This was replaced by a stone building in 805 and this was further extended over the years. The remains of this old Anglo-Saxon and former collegiate church can still be seen in the churchyard although the prominent re-erected arches date from the 13th century when the chancel was rebuilt. Saxon evidence survives in the baptismal font rescued from use as a garden ornament and restored in 1932 for baptismal use in the church.
The church is the burial place of Josiah Wedgwood, who is also commemorated inside the church by a marble memorial tablet commissioned by his sons.
The present parish church was designed by James Trubshaw and Johnson and built from 1826 and consecrated on 6 October 1830. There are ceramic memorials in the church to many of the great potters of the district and there is a fine modern memorial to the great football player Sir Stanley Matthews. The title of "Stoke Minster" was conferred on this parish church by The Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, Bishop of Lichfield, at a ceremony on 17 May 2005.