Peter Toon RIP

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Peter Toon, 1939 – 2009

Peter, son of Thomas Arthur and Hilda Toon, was born in Yorkshire, England, soon after the start of World War II. After him came Paul, David and Christine. He attended Hemsworth Grammar School, Cliff College, Sheffield; King’s College, London; The University of Liverpool and Christ Church, Oxford University. He held three Masters’ degrees and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford.

He was married to Vita for forty-seven years and they have one daughter, Deborah, who lives in California, and is married to Michael, a Naval Officer. Vita is a graduate of London and Oxford Universities, while Deborah is a graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville and the University of Texas at Austin.

After teaching religious studies in a College, Peter was ordained in the Church of England in 1973 in the Diocese of Liverpool. Since then he has served in parishes in both England and the U.S.A. and also as a theologian in theological houses in the U.S.A. and in England. In the last decade of his working life, he served the Prayer Book Society of the U.S.A. as its President and C E O.

Peter wrote and had published over twenty-five books, together with booklets, essays, articles. He also wrote many opinion pieces for the web. He edited Home Words in England from 1985-2001 and The Mandate in the U.S.A. from 1995 to 2008. He was much committed to The Anglican Way as Reformed Catholicism, and to the importance of the historical Formularies—Articles, BCP and Ordinal. The woes of the Anglican Communion in recent days much distressed him.

As he died on Saturday, April 25th in San Diego, and as virtually all Vita’s and Peter’s relatives and friends are thousands of miles away, there was no public funeral in California, only a service for the family based on the classic BCP. It is hoped that his remains may be interred in the family grave in Yorkshire.

The address for Vita and Deborah in CA is: 2522 Boundary Street, San Diego, CA 92104


Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

6 Comments
Posted April 26, 2009 at 1:37 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. A Floridian wrote:

The Rev.Dr. Toon was kind to correspond with me, a stranger, from time to time, after 2003, during the Episcopal/Anglican crisis.  He would graciously and very ably answer my theological questions and send links to his articles that pertained to my queries.  He contributed a great deal to the orthodox Anglicanism in the US.  I am sad that he is gone.  He will be greatly missed.

April 26, 2:47 pm | [comment link]
2. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Let light perpetual shine upon him, O Lord, and eternal rest vouchsafe Him; through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

I had occasion for him to read with approval an analysis of Tolkien’s description of Saruman’s disintegration.  I have ever cherished since his praise, “I like the way you write.”  That appreciation has only increased as I have read more and more of his body of work.  This is a loss to the Church Militant, no doubt, but what a boon for the Church Triumphant!

April 26, 3:30 pm | [comment link]
3. azusa wrote:

Peter Toon was a diligent scholar and a faithful pastor and one could always learn from his wide range of teaching. I am grateful for his ministry and pray for his family.

April 26, 3:39 pm | [comment link]
4. Ralph Webb wrote:

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Peter Toon at the 2000 General Convention after many years of reading his articles in Touchstone and other publications. He will be sorely missed.

April 26, 10:21 pm | [comment link]
5. RichardKew wrote:

I have known Peter Toon for the best part of 35 years on both sides of the Atlantic. It has been agonizing over the last year or so to read his emails reflecting the toll his final illness was taking. Peter was not necessarily always an easy person to be around, but his graciousness and commitment to Christian faithfulness regardless of the consequences are hard not to respect—and he will be greatly missed.

April 27, 5:20 am | [comment link]
6. Stuart Smith wrote:

Fr. Toon came to Nashotah House in the midst of my seminary training in the early 1990s.  Though his evangelicalism and deep suspicion of “spikey” Anglo-Catholicism at the House made him a counter-intuitive pick for the position of Systematic Theology, he had such an obvious fervor and deeply honest prayer-life, that we who sat at his feet learned much.  And, too, his keen insight into cultural perversity and the “new” BCP’s deficiencies (related to that cultural perversity) has stood me in good stead as a pastor.  Though Dr. Toon’s tenure at Nashotah House did not end happily (to use a massive English understatement), no one ever doubted his trust in Jesus Christ or his genuine interest in the holiness of his students.
May God bless those closest to him who mourn his passing.

April 27, 3:21 pm | [comment link]
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