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Tributes to Uckfield priest Bill Peters
7:00am Saturday 22nd September 2012 in News
Much-loved Uckfield priest Canon Bill Peters has died in hospital in Haywards Heath. He was 93.
He spent 70 years in the church and was rector at Holy Cross Church in Uckfield for 27 years.
He is remembered as always having time for everybody.
Canon Peters remained in town after his retirement and continued to help out with church services where needed, particularly in Buxted.
He once said: “If anybody wants to get married, and the parish is happy, then I do them.”
Canon Peters, whose death was announced on the Diocese website, was the last living chaplain who served in the Second World War to still be working and said in February this year that he had no plans to stop.
Only last year he retired after 42 years as chaplain at Uckfield Community Hospital.
Canon Peters met The Queen on many occasions when she visited Little Horsted Church during her trips to see her friend, the late Lord Rupert Nevill, who lived nearby.
Before the war he played football for Brighton and Hove Albion and cricket for Sussex and he was thrilled when he was given a standing ovation recently after being taken on to the pitch at the Seagulls' new American Express Community Stadium.
Canon Peters volunteered as a chaplain, being posted to North Africa and the Middle East. He was then chaplain of Brighton College before coming to Uckfield.
Canon Peters was a close friend of the Rev Chris Howarth who came to teach at the Uckfield Community Technology College the same year that Canon Peters came to Uckfield and who says it was Canon Peters who encouraged him to be ordained himself.
Rev Howarth said: “We worked together for the whole of his time in Uckfield.
“He was approachable, never put up barriers and had no side to him. He accepted everybody and people accepted him. I learned a lot from just watching him with people.”
Rev Howarth said it could take Canon Peters two-and-a-half hours to buy a pack of cereal in Tesco because he would stop and talk to so many people while in there.
“He always had time for everybody.”
Rev Howarth remembered that when Canon Peters’ wife Stella was alive they would have open house on Christmas Day inviting in those who would otherwise have spent the day on their own. Their family Christmas would be postponed for another couple of days.
Canon Peters leaves a son Simon, daughter-in-law Paula and two grandchildren.
Article courtesy of www.uckfieldnews.com