From 1997 until 2021, Fr Peter was assistant priest at St Philip Howard Church in Cambridge. Though working full-time right up until his death, he was able to devote time and energy to the liturgical, spiritual and social life of the parish. His own homilies were appreciated as insightful and thought-provoking.
His enjoyment of folk music (especially the Cambridge Folk Festival) and of rugby at Twickenham were interests which bonded him with parishioners of all ages. He developed close bonds and lifelong friendships with his parishioners.
Though his condition, muscular dystrophy, gradually affected his mobility and, eventually, required him to use a wheelchair, he was determined to continue with family, social and church activities as much as he could. He said Mass regularly including saying the weekly Saturday evening Mass up until the start of the pandemic. Indeed, his muscular dystrophy gave him a deep understanding and empathy with his parishioners who had their own health difficulties and challenges.
Fr Philip John, his parish priest, writes: “Peter was a model for persistence and will power. He wasn’t ready to give up anything because of his illness. He always tried to maintain the priestly koinonia in the deanery and was a good example for keeping relationships.”
Having been ordained originally in the Church of England and serving as an Anglican priest for 10 years in three different parishes, Peter and his wife, Gill, and daughters, Zoe, Lucy and Maria, gave up their home in Suffolk and moved to Cambridge to become part of the Roman Catholic Church bringing their own family life as an enrichment to the parish.
The parish and the Diocese extend their heartfelt condolences to them, as well as their sincere gratitude for all that Fr Peter contributed over many years and despite the increasing challenges of illness.
Pictured is Fr Peter at his daughter’s recent wedding party in July.