TRIBUTES have been paid to an inspirational vicar who helped set up a community project which provides support to people living in one of the city’s most deprived areas.
Rev Peter Haddleton, vicar of St Barnabas and Christ Church in Tolladine, passed away last Thursday (November 21) after losing his battle against cancer.
The 60-year-old had been cared for by St Richard’s Hospice before he died in hospital, leaving behind his wife, Vanessa, and two daughters, Siobhan and Christa.
His funeral will be held on Friday (November 29) at 2.30pm at St Barnabas and Christ Church where Rev Nancy Murray-Peters said he became a much-loved priest.
“He was there for everyone in the parish whether they were church goers or not,” she said.
“He was very good at getting along with people, especially when they were troubled and he had a smashing sense of humour.”
Robin Sykes, chair of the Parochial Church Council, said he will best remember Rev Haddleton for his work to create the Tolladine Church Mission in 2010, which has helped develop activities for youngsters in the area.
“Peter was the key individual who had the vision of starting the Tolladine mission which became his passion,” Mr Sykes said.
Captain Rick Tett, missioner for the scheme, added: “Peter was an inspiration to everyone. He lived and breathed his vocation of being priest.
“He was committed to the church and to the community and he will be sadly missed be a lot of people.”
Rev Haddleton also played a significant role in local schools, including providing chaplaincy to Bishop Perowne CE College and headteacher Julie Farr said he had made an “immeasurable impact” on students.
“He was a loving man who showed all at Bishop Perowne the true power of ‘love in action’ through his work in worship and with our student worship team,” she said.
“He loved our students and loved being with them and for this we are truly grateful.”
The Bishop of Worcester Dr John Inge, who was able to pray with Rev Haddleton only hours before he died, said he had showed “extraordinary faith” since he was diagnosed with cancer.
“Peter was a very gifted and much loved parish priest who gave himself unstintingly to others, especially those in need,” Dr Inge added.
“He will be very much missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the parishioners of his two churches.”
A special vigil will also take place tomorrow (Thursday) at St Barnabas and Christ Church which people can attend from 7.30pm.