Peter Hooper has been appointed Archdeacon of France by the Bishop in Europe

Our much-respected colleague, Canon Dr Peter Hooper has been appointed Archdeacon of France by the Bishop in Europe.
Currently priest-in-charge of a number of rural churches near Melton Mowbray, Area Dean of the Framland Deanery, Chair of the House of Clergy, a member of our Bishop’s Council, and a member of various diocesan committees, Peter also currently serves as our Rural Officer.
Just last month, as Vice President to the Leicestershire and Rutland Young Farmers, Peter led the first-ever drive-in harvest festival for some 180 club members at Melton Mowbray Cattle Market, so that the annual thanksgiving usually held at Leicester Cathedral could go ahead despite the pandemic. 
Peter’s creative and devoted approach to sharing the Gospel has also often seen him engaged in media interviews, presenting on local radio, as a supporter of rural churches in a variety of settings and representing the diocese at county and national level. His enthusiasm for his vocation and the compassion with which this is shared being familiar trademarks of his ministry.
Ordained in Leicester Cathedral in 2006, Peter joined the Diocese of Leicester as an ordinand from the Diocese in Europe, having completed the major part of his training at the Institut Catholique de Toulouse. Much of his time in ministry has been directed to growing Christian communities and presence, both within established settings as well as in start-up situations and secular organisations. Children and young people have been a particular focus, and he has helped two communities register as Eco-Churches. As a business leader prior to ordination he nurtured discipleship through a ‘faith in the workplace’ course, a theme throughout his ministry, and currently illustrated through his tutoring on the diocesan Journey In Faith (JiF) discipleship programme. 

Peter is also interested in national initiatives on clergy flourishing and has co-ordinated a series of projects looking at reducing the administration burden for clergy. Over a ten year period, Peter has been Area Dean for two different deaneries, Sparkenhoe East and Framland, both of which have been re-organised under his leadership. His ministry has emphasised the need to care for and encourage clergy and parishioners.

Now Bishop Robert Innes has announced Peter’s appointment as Archdeacon, saying: “I am thrilled that we are able to appoint a priest of such rich experience and skill to this key leadership role, with responsibilities for our chaplaincies across France and Monaco,” and asking his new diocese to pray for Peter as he begins a major period of transition.
Here, Bishop Martyn said: “Peter has served in the Diocese of Leicester since his ordination in 2006 and has made an extraordinary contribution to the life of the diocese during the past 14 years. After living in France for many years before ordination, his love for the country, together with his knowledge of the language and culture, will be invaluable in his new role. I am delighted for him, although we will be very sorry to lose him across the Channel. He will go with our thanks for everything he has done here as well as our good wishes and prayers.”

Peter said: “When we accept the call to enter ministry we offer our lives to be shaped, formed and placed where God knows best. It is always difficult to leave people behind as God moves us on, however, there is something very special to celebrate when God touches our lives. So, it is with very mixed emotions that I say goodbye to the Diocese of Leicester where I have ministered for the whole of my ordained life, and return to France where my ministerial roots first grew. It has been an amazing ministerial journey here over the last 14 years, and I am excited about what God has in store as I enter a new chapter of priestly ministry.”
Peter was born in the North East of England and following some nine years at Newcastle University, he worked in the agricultural supply industry, eventually becoming managing director of a large agricultural seeds business based in Toulouse, France. Whilst living there he served as Chaplaincy Warden in the Anglican Chaplaincy, so understands well the realities of chaplaincy life in the Archdeaconry of France from a lay officer perspective. In total Peter lived and worked in France for over a decade.

Peter was widowed in 2019 with the sudden loss of his wife, Suzanne, who shared his enthusiasm for Eco Church and whom many in the diocese remember with great affection. He has two grown up children, William who is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Catherine, a Human Nutritionist, who works in the Food Industry (see photo further below). Whilst they will not be returning with him to live in France, they are excited about the opportunities to visit.
Peter will begin work with the Diocese in Europe on 15 February 2021. He will be licensed initially as Acting Archdeacon, continuing to live in Leicestershire. A move to France will be organised as soon as possible in these difficult times, when Peter will be licensed as Archdeacon in full title.

First published on: 23rd November 2020
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