St John's Church


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Peter Haynes, former vicar, dies at nearly 93

Peter Haynes, former vicar, dies at nearly 93

Peter Haynes, a much-loved vicar of St Johnís in the early 1970s, died on March 17 at the age of nearly 93. The funeral Eucharist was celebrated at Hereford Cathedral on Maundy Thursday at 2:30pm.

After Glastonbury, Peter was archdeacon of Wells and then dean of Hereford. Before Glastonbury he had served in parishes in the Northeast and then from 1963 to 1970 was Bishop Jock Hendersonís chaplain for youth in Bath and Wells. Full obituaries appeared in the Church Times, Telegraph and The Times.

At Hereford in the late 1980s, he set off a national news-storm by proposing to sell the cathedralís treasured but neglected Mappa Mundi in order to finance urgent repairs to the cathedral itself. The brouhaha brought a benefactor and a splendid new edifice to house the rare medieval map, and also brought about new national safeguards for fabric and treasures at all cathedrals.

[Jim Nagel writes:] Peter had form. The first time I ever set foot in St Johnís, one weekday evening in November 1970, Peter and a half-dozen men of the church family were busy removing pews at the west end to clear space for after-service socializing. A good sign, I thought. Somebody ó maybe Peter ó handed me a pickaxe and Iíve been here ever since. Years later I learned that the work had been done without a faculty (diocesan planning permission). But maybe things were less strict back then, and anyway the archdeacon is in charge of faculties and that was soon Peter.

A few months later there was a Good Friday procession of witness from the top of the High Street into the Abbey. As we gathered at the starting point, Peter looked at this hippie newcomer and said: ďYouíre tall, Jim. You carry the cross.Ē Walking at the front of the slow, silent procession I could not tell if anyone was following and it seemed wrong to turn around to look ó a surreal experience. And that occasion was the first time I set foot in Glastonbury Abbey, ďthe holiest earthe in EnglandĒ.

In Glastonbury Peter was also famed for his model railway in the garden of the Chilkwell Street vicarage. It went with him to Hereford. St Johnís choir visited Peter there on several Easter Mondays, singing Evensong in Hereford Cathedral.

His wife Ruth died in 2004; they have two sons, Richard and Michael. Peter was born in 1925, on April 24.

[Photo: Dean Haynes at the launch of Mappa Mundi PLC in 1989]

ē Letís collect more anecdotes about Peter Haynes, to share with his family when they eventually visit Glastonbury.


Added: 28th March 2018

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