Bishop Peter Smith was a good friend and always good company. He loved the Norfolk Broads and occasionally sailed with us on our sailing cruiser. He was a competent helmsman and willing hand. We enjoyed several annual trips to see productions by the Gt Yarmouth Gilbert and Sullivan Society on the Wellington Pier and at St Georges Theatre. He was greatly missed when he left for Cardiff.
Keith and Ann Webster
“A real man of the people when he was Bishop of East Anglia and no doubt beyond. He was often seen at St Georges joining in with the Divorced and Separated Group meetings then in existence and having a cigarette with fellow smokers sitting on the wall outside (this was the 1980s).
“I also got to know him quite well on a visit to Lourdes when I happened to be placed on the same table as him at the hotel we stayed at – many jokes and much fun was had by all. When it came to going home he was determined to find out how my rather unusual wheelchair came apart so that he could help load it onto the coach. He will be much missed and in our prayers.”
St George’s, Norwich
“Bishop Peter was one of the kindest priests it has been our pleasure and honour to know. We accompanied him on many events in the UK and Rome. He was a learned man with great knowledge and we were able to have the deepest of dialogues conducted with such grace and humour. He never missed a beat.
“He was also always available when really needed. When I found myself bereft on losing my mother, he was the one priest who took time to sit, listen, talk and pray. His intercession helped enormously. He never stopped being a man of the people, a true priest. In a busy world so many lose focus on what the mission actually is, Peter never did.
“We had so many great chats and giggles in so many fine and humble venues. His loss will be felt enormously. I hope and trust that the church will be certain to continue his mission. This will be his true legacy. Whilst he rests in eternal peace.”
“I was always impressed and grateful to Archbishop Peter Smith for his moral guidance especially standing up for the values and protection of traditional marriage and family life. He was an excellent spokesman and ambassador for the Catholic Church of England and Wales.”
St Edmunds Parish
Bury St Edmunds
“We remember Bishop Peter at the celebration in the crypt of St Edmunds following the confirmation Mass of our granddaughter Lindsey McCann in May 2000.
“We also met him at the choir Jubilee Mass in September 2000 when we were both presented with Special Diocesan medals. We remember speaking to Bishop Peter immediately after a Mass in Newmarket when he came outside to have a cigarette.
“Following Bishop Alan Clarke, Bishop Peter wasn’t with us very long before moving to Cardiff. He was a wonderful person.”
George & Shirley Grimshaw
Bury St Edmunds
Click here to read homily from the Most Revd John Wilson, Archbishop of Southwark, at Archbishop’s Peter’s funeral on March 30.
Pictured top is Archbishop Peter at the White House in Poringland while he was Bishop of East Anglia and, above blessing a new building at Clare Priory. Pictures both courtesy of Archant.