04 April 2019
It is with sadness that the Methodist Church announces the death of the Revd Prof W Peter Stephens who died on Monday 1 April 2019. He was a Past President of the Methodist Conference 1998/1999.
The Revd Prof W Peter Stephens was born in Penzance in 1934 and was educated at Truro School, Clare College and Wesley House, Cambridge.
Peter was ordained in 1960, becoming Chaplain at Nottingham University 1961-1965. He spent two years, 1965-1967, at the University of Strasbourg and Munster leading to a doctorate, published in 1970, ‘The Holy Spirit in the Theology of Martin Bucer’. Peter was a tutor at Hartley Victoria College, Manchester 1971-1973 (he had previously served as assistant tutor 1958-1961), Wesley College, Bristol 1973-1980 and at The Queen’s College, Birmingham 1980-1986. From 1986 to 1999 he was Professor of Church History at Aberdeen University, where he was Dean of the Faculty of Divinity 1986-1988 and Provost of the Faculty 1988-1989.
From 1995 he was President of the Society for Reformation Studies and in 1997 he won the Max Geilinger Prize for The Theology of Huldrych Zwingli (OUP, 1986).
Peter was stationed in the Croydon Circuit 1967-1971, he was Superintendent Minister of the Plymouth Methodist Mission Circuit 1999-2000, Minister of the Mint, Exeter and Methodist Chaplain to the University of Exeter 2000-2002, Superintendent Minister of the Liskeard and Looe Circuit 2002-2003. Peter was Minister in the Uckfield and Lewes, Mid-Sussex Circuit 2004-2006.
From 2003 to 2004 he was Chair and General Superintendent of the Methodist Church, The Gambia and from 2010 to 2012 he served as the Presiding Bishop.
He was a linguist who travelled and preached in many countries and was closely involved in the Conference of European Churches and on World Methodist Church commissions.
The funeral for the Revd Prof W Peter Stephens is taking place on Wednesday 17 April. There will be a service for his family, at 1pm in Camborne, and then at Penzance Methodist Church at 2.30pm. The President and Vice-President will be attending.