We are sorry to be the bearers of sad news, but we have lost the Reverend Canon Peter Heartfield, our most devoted committee member and one of the early founders of EDA.
As Peter is called to join our Heavenly Father, he leaves a huge gap among us at EDA. During his life Peter served the Lord in different and varied ways, serving in EDA is one. First he served as a secretary, then treasurer and at one time he was both. Over time he became the “man who knows”. Whenever we had a question or needed an explanation of why or how, it was Peter whom we turned to for an answer. His record keeping was immaculate, he was prompt in producing reports and maneuvering around the calendar when transferring donations at the right time, being careful not to waste money on bank charges.
Peter’s plans were to hand over the reins to his successor, Judith Spencer-Gregson, in January 2017 but this plan was not to be. For the last few weeks Peter complained of feeling weak but on Friday he was hoping to go out and wishing he could enjoy some sun by the sea. On Saturday he deteriorated and was taken to hospital and passed away on Sunday.
As Margaret Ford (EDA minute secretary) said “Peter Lived, Peter Loved and Peter Gave“.
Rest in Peace Peter you’ll be hugely missed.
Peter’s long standing service to the EDA
For his consistent and long standing devotion to EDA and Egypt Peter was awarded The Plaque of The Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa by our Patron Archbishop John Sentamu.
Peter had first gone to Cairo when called up in 1946 and when his unit was moved away from Cairo stayed there as a civilian and took over the choir at the Cathedral. He mentioned how later Frank Johnston, EDA Chairman at the time, had arranged ordination training for him, while he was supporting a wife and young family.
From Archbishop Mouneer Anis, EDA President
“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” Matthew 25:21
It was with great sadness I received the news of the passing away of our dear friend Rev.Canon Peter Heartfield. We trust that he is now resting in peace in his heavenly home. We thank God for his life and his ministry over the years. If i try to find one word to describe Peter it would be the word “FAITHFUL”. He was indeed a faithful husband, father and servant of the church in England and Egypt. He also served faithfully and persistently, for so many years, as the Honorary Treasurer Of Egypt Diocesan Association (EDA). For nearly 60 years EDA supported the ministries of the Diocese of Egypt and he played a key role in this.
Canon Heartfield will be greatly missed by all of us who had the privilege of knowing him.
+ Mouneer Egypt
From our Chairman
In conversation with Joseph, our Secretary, and in the week of receiving news of Peter’s death, we had again been considering the matter of the EDA Archive and the most suitable location for its housing. This has now become more pressing a concern, since Peter, who had been there at the formation of the Association, serving as both secretary and treasurer, and indeed as a participant in the earlier Egypt and Sudan Churches Association, was a living witness of the whole story. A brief phone call or email posting (usually answered within an hour at most) would save much searching through records and provide all the information required! “Ask Peter, he’s bound to know”….how many times have we said that ? We shall miss him dearly. Always helpful, full of wisdom as well as knowledge, so courteous and self-effacing in all his dealings, and thereby instrumental in encouraging much support for EDA and its aims and objects from so many. He could even advise on rail journeys throughout the UK because he shared with many clerics a lively interest in the rail network. Yes, we shall miss him.
The records show his retirement date from clerical office as 1992, nearly a quarter of century ago , but chaplaincy work at St John’s Hospital Canterbury kept him (and his dear late wife) in ministry for many years following that date. He was simply a willing and caring servant of all who required his ministry. His work was driven in large part, as he freely admitted, by a sense of thankfulness to God and many within the fellowship for encouragement and assistance given him in his most formative years. His priestly vocation had been identified, encouraged and enabled during those years in Egypt when he was serving in the Armed Forces. This he always remembered and we have all been the beneficiaries of this motivating power in him.
How thankful we are that at our 60th Anniversary celebration at Lambeth Palace last year an opportunity was provided to hear his story, skilfully elicited from him by Elspeth Mackinlay, colleague and friend, and a presentation made by Archbishops Sentamu and Mouneer to mark his decades of service to EDA and, through the Association, to the diocese of Egypt.
We thank God upon every remembrance of him.