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'Interested in others, with an acute, dry sense of humour': Retired vicar among the victims of coronavirus

by Cara Bentley

A London vicar has died from coronavirus, with two Church of England bishops paying tribute to his care for his community.

Fr Peter Myles had Parkinson's disease and his death was announced by his daughter, the actor Sophia Myles.

She had asked people to pray for here Dad on 17th March and posted a picture of her father lying in a hospital bed on Saturday afternoon, writing: "Yesterday I went on a journey to see my father. This is the harsh reality of the Coronavirus."


Myles updated those concerned a few hours later, saying: "RIP Peter Myles

"My dear Dad died only a few hours ago. It was the Corona Virus that finally took him."

Fr Peter was the vicar at St John's church in Isleworth and retired in 2008 and had also been a priest at St Peter's church in Notting Hill and chaplain to the bishop of Kensington.

The bishops of both Kensington and Liverpool have paid tribute to him. Rt Rev Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool, was a neighbour of Peter Myles and his family and wrote: "For five years in the early 1980s we shared a house with Peter and his family. I was a university chaplain living in the upstairs flat, Peter the priest-in-charge of St George's, Campden Hill and the chaplain to the Bishop of Kensington (who himself lived just a few doors down the road).

"He was a gentle and calm man, light-hearted and interested in others, with an acute, dry sense of humour. At the time I was national co-chair of Christian CND and a fearsome campaigner for nuclear disarmament. After losing my key one summer's day I was discovered by Peter trying to get into the house, sweating, cross, extremely hot and bothered. He surveyed me quizzically for a moment: 'Ah,' he said, 'the man of peace.' Kind but unforgettable.

"It was a pleasure to be his neighbour, to share in prayer and worship with him and to enjoy his company. May he rest in peace and rise in glory."

The Bishop of Kensington wrote on social media: "Really sad to hear of the passing of the Revd Peter Myles due to COVID-19. He is still warmly remembered in his last parish, St John's Isleworth, after many years of serving that community, caring for its people & its parish church before his retirement. Rest in Peace.


Fr Peter was ordained in 1971 and then became a curate in Derbyshire. He stayed close to St John's church in his final years in a care home.

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