The Orthodox Parish of
& St Chad,
Fr Peter Brameld, 1940-2005
On 24th February 2005 Fr Peter died. He was our assistant priest in the parish, having previously served some forty years as an Anglican priest. Words cannot do justice to his kindness, patience and love towards all around him. We continue to miss him greatly and to think of him frequently.
We repeat here, with permission of Fr Deacon Ian Thompson and of Mrs Monica Brameld, a personal reminiscence in a letter which gives some indication of Fr Peter’s qualities.
“I have many warm memories of Fr Peter and not a single even mildly negative one. That must be quite rare! However, I promised to tell you about our last trip to London.
It was curious, to start with, how at Newark, he simply got into the same carriage and found the one empty seat, which was next to me ... It really started at the ticket barrier on the Underground. Someone couldn’t get their ticket to open the gate and Peter just disappeared. Moments later he was back with an official and it was all sorted. Smiles and thanks. Then at the bottom of the escalator he spotted a woman struggling with her luggage and again went to help. On the platform another woman was having some trouble with a pushchair, I think. Something of the sort anyway, and again Peter helped. Conversation ensued.
When the train arrived and we piled in I began to notice that several people who had got on with us had their eyes on him, and of course this was so unusual. Tube travellers are normally
self-absorbed. Peter was again deep in conversation with somebody, and so they began trying to catch my eye. It was all eye and face language. An approving glance and nod at Peter, then a shy smile and nod at me, clearly saying, ‘Now there’s a priest who is a priest’ (although I suspect they thought he was a bishop and I was his chaplain!). At any rate they wanted me to know that they approved. Just as we were getting off, someone said in my ear, ‘You must feel very privileged....’, meaning, I suppose, ‘to work with him.’ I never told Peter ... but I found myself reflecting with a sort of insane hilarity, that if he could have been employed by London Transport as a sort of travelling chaplain he would have transformed the whole of London!
In a less obvious way though, that was Fr Peter. I never served at Nottingham without being made to feel he was glad to see me, and many people have said the same. He had an extraordinary capacity for making people feel welcome and wonted, and also a great gift for offering help in a very unobtrusive and kindly way.....
Father Peter...Eternal Remembrance!
This article appeared in the magazine of Southwell Minster in 2005 and is included with kind permission of the author, Olga Hudson.
In his eleven years here, Fr Peter Brameld, who died on on February 24th, had certainly made his mark on this town, whether flying around the town in his black cassock , or in his coat carefully tending people’s feet as a chiropodist. Others will have seen him addressing various meetings or engaged in silent prayer, initially in the Minster and latterly in Holy Trinity.
Before completing his training as a chiropodist, he had also worked part time locally both as a gardener and as a caretaker at the Monster School. With his death from an inoperable brain tumour, Southwell has lost its first and only Orthodox priest.
Fr Peter was ordained both as Deacon ( 1997) and Priest (2001) by Metropolitan Anthony to serve at the Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity in Carlton, of which he had been a founder member. In fact he had long-standing connections both with the priesthood and with this town. His late uncle, Colonel Alec Brameld, was a well known local figure.
It was in Southwell Minster that Fr Peter, who was born in Burton Joyce and served as an Anglican Priest (later Rural Dean) mainly in Nottingham shire for 31 years, was ordained as Deacon (1963) and Priest (1964) and married to his wife Monica (1966). Here too, his son Mark was a chorister and his daughter Sarah was married.
When he left the Anglican Church, partly as a result of the many changes that had occurred since the time when he had been the youngest priest in the diocese, but perhaps more importantly because he had already for many years been drawn towards the Orthodox faith, he left in peace, with mutual respect and good will. After his departure the relationship continued to be amicable and wholesome. It was quite simply that he felt he had come to the Orthodox priesthood at the right time and in the right place.
Both in this town that he loved so much and in the Orthodox community, Fr Peter with his interest and loving concern for all he met, is sorely missed....