A tribute to The Revd Canon Ken Peters

11th May 2020
It is with great sadness that we announce that Canon Ken Peters, who retired from MtS in 2017, died on the evening of Saturday 9th May 2020.

After 38 years of distinguished service within The Mission to Seafarers, Ken was very well known across the world, not just to the MtS family but to many beyond. After first working for the Mission as a student, he soon returned to take up port chaplaincies in the UK and Japan where he made a significant difference to seafarers’ lives. It was, however, in his subsequent role that he leaves the most transformational legacy – as MtSDirector of Justice and Welfare.

In this capacity, he became well known, and indeed well-loved, throughout the maritime industry. He worked and travelled tirelessly and sacrificially, training chaplaincy teams and maritime inspectors. Within the Mission he established high standards in the provision of quality local advocacy, always stressing the importance of partnership. His leadership role touched on many areas of the organisation’s life.

Beyond the Mission, he was regarded as one of the world’s leading advocates in crew welfare. He influenced policy and made regular interventions at international fora, including the International Maritime Organization and at the International Labour Organization, representing all the maritime charities under the International Christian Maritime Association. He liaised closely with key global shipping, trade and professional associations. To all his dealings he brought an academic rigour and long, practical experience.

All who knew Ken experienced his unfailing warmth and kindness. His discrete pastoral skills and love of people sat naturally alongside his professionalism. Over the last 20 years of his life, he wrestled with serious illness. This highlighted another aspect of his character. He was a man of the most immense courage, continuing with an absolute commitment to his
work, and sustaining an extraordinary pace of travel, for most of those years. He rarely spoke about his illness and he never complained, even when things were very difficult indeed. He would always say that three things sustained him – “family, friends and faith”.

Ken was and remains an enormous inspiration and countless are those who will be touched by his death. We give thanks for an extraordinary life and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Jackie, his two sons, Michael and David, and daughter-in-law Emma.

Did you know Ken?

We have received a request from one of Ken’s sons – Michael – for any memories, stories or anecdotes about Ken, perhaps just an enjoyable moment you may have shared with him, or perhaps even what it was about Ken that made you like or respect him so much.  Michael is happy for us to communicate this message as widely as possible and has asked that anything you would like to share is sent directly to [email protected].  Thank you.

Sign up to our Newsletter
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.