Peter Hearn died at the College of St Barnabas, a clergy retirement home in Lingfield, Surrey on 17th September 2012 aged 93, having moved there from Cirencester only three months previously.

Peter was born in Lincolnshire on December 24th 1918, and after a childhood there and at Brinkley, Cambridgeshire went up to Selwyn College, Cambridge in 1937 to read maths & theology. He soon developed his ringing, being Secretary in 1938 and Master in 1939 of the Cambridge University Guild, and ringing 1-2 in hand in a peal of Bob Major in May 1939 (probably his first peal).

After Lincoln Theological College and a curacy at Oxhey near Watford, he came to Cirencester as an assistant curate in 1945, and married Frances in 1946. He became involved in local ringing, and rang his first tower-bell peal on the 3rd in Kent Treble Bob Major at Watermoor in March 1950.

Peter’s first parish of his own was Childswickham in 1952, followed by Stratton & Baunton in 1962, and France Lynch in 1975. Retirement at the end of 1983 saw them move back to Cirencester to live, returning to worship and help out regularly with services at Stratton. Sadly, Frances died in 1995. However, Peter had kept in touch with his fellow-curate from his Oxhey days, and in 1996 married his friend’s widow Yvonne, for another 14 happy years together.

Peter rang about a dozen peals altogether, and was a faithful member of the Cirencester band after retirement. For a while around 1993/4 he acted as Ringing Master at Ampney Crucis, helping to build up the band since the bells had been rehung in 1988. He was a quietly competent ringer with a surprising range of experience, and it was a pleasure to take him with me on trips such as the Cambridge University Guild’s annual ringing week.

Peter was a retiring personality – an old-time gentleman – but strong in the faith, a dedicated pastor, a good friend, and much loved by all. He is survived by three sons and a daughter.

A quarter of Grandsire Triples was rung in his memory at Watermoor, before the memorial service at St Peter’s, Stratton on 10th November.


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