The funeral took place last Wednesday of Canon Bill Peters, former Rector of Holy Cross Church, Uckfield. His coffin was driven in procession from the funeral directors in London Road to lay in the peace of his former church overnight before a service the next day.
As Canon Peters was Chaplain to the Sussex Association of Bonfire Societies, a guard of honour comprising members of the Uckfield Bonfire Society with blazing torches flanked the hearse as it made its way to the church to be met by further Society torchbearers.
The coffin was draped with the Union Jack in memory of his years as a Forces’ Chaplain during World War II and his Chaplain’s scarf bearing his medal ribbons was folded on top, together with his family floral tribute. Once in church a Bible and Crucifix were also placed on the coffin.
There was a short service including the singing of the evening hymn: ‘The Day Thou Gavest Lord is Ended’ and the Nunc Dimittis, a canticle from the service of vespers, was led by Rev Chris Howarth.
On Thursday morning a Requiem Eucharist was held at the church which was attended by the family and clergy who had been Canon Bill’s curates in the 30 years of his time as Rector. At the end of the service Last Post and Reveille were sounded by the trumpeter Ray Martin before his body was taken for cremation in Brighton.
The family then returned to Holy Cross Church for a service of thanksgiving for his life. During this service there were prayers from Holy Cross curate Rev Stephen Date, a story written by Simon Peters, a reading from deputy assistant Chaplain General Rev Dr Philip McCormack, more prayers led by former curate and Olympic and Paralympic co-ordinator Rev Canon Duncan Green and Holy Cross curate, Rev June Terry. The organist was James Thomas and there was a joint choir from Holy Cross Church and Buxted St Margaret’s.