The Rev Michael Peat is leaving Whaley Bridge in January, after six years as minister of the Uniting Church Partnership, which includes Fernilee and Kettleshulme as well as Whaley Bridge. Michael has also been chaplain to the local Royal British Legion for the last four years.
He is to become part of the multi-faith chaplaincy team at the University of Bristol. At the same time his wife Helen is taking up a part-time post as music teacher at Bristol Grammar School.
His successor in the Whaley Bridge partnership will be the Rev Keith Sandow, a superintendent in the Methodist ministry in Ashton under Lyne. He is expected to arrive in late summer.
Michael will work three days a week at the university, spending the other days helping to look after their daughter. At 38, Michael will be nearer the generation of students than many of their tutors. Michael did post graduate courses in theology at Oxford University and King’s College University of London.
The Bristol chaplaincy team helps students and staff of all faiths and none. The chaplaincy team has members representing a range of world faiths. Bristol has a high percentage of students from abroad, many from Asian countries.
Michael arrived at Whaley Bridge two years into the major re-design and re-development of the Uniting Church in Whaley Bridge. The building is now used for many different functions, one of which will be the Christmas Show on Saturday 21 December. Michael will make an appearance in a singing group, including a solo. He will take four Christmas services over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the three churches in the partnership.
Michael’s last service will be the joint Anglican and Partnership Covenant Service, which this year takes place in the Uniting Church, at 10.30 am on Sunday 12 January 2014. He will be sharing in leading the service with the Rev Margaret Jones of the Anglican parish.
Michael is ‘excited and pleased’ at the ministry he is going to in Bristol. He says of his years in Whaley Bridge: “We have been extremely happy here, and have made many good friendships. It will be sad to leave in January.”