On Saturday, 10 April, after a long battle with ill health, Revd Peter Parkinson went to be with his Lord and Saviour.
Peter was brought up in a loving Christian home, and from an early age came to see what sacrificial Christian living looked like through his parents.
Peter felt called to ministry at an early age and was preaching before he was 17 years old.
After training for the ministry, he took up his first senior pastorate at Harehills Lane Baptist Church, Leeds. These were hard but richly-blessed years, seeing the church grow exponentially.
In 1972, Peter left to form Leeds Reformed Baptist Church (now Emmanuel Baptist Church), and he ministered there as senior pastor until he retired from pastoral ministry in 2005.
During those years, he saw much blessing. Through his enthusiastic, rich, and powerful preaching, he saw many come to faith and many more influenced for good.
For a time, Peter also sat on the board of trustees for Christian Witness to Israel, a ministry he loved and respected.
Peter had many opportunities to preach up and down the country and around the world, but he was never as happy as when he was at home among his own congregation.
During the 1980s, he felt called to meet the needs of several vulnerable and at-risk young people in his own church. This led to the ministry of Caring For Life. Peter, along with Esther Smith, led and developed this ministry up to his retirement in 2019.
The work of CFL epitomised Peter’s heart for people as he passionately proclaimed the gospel through both word and deed. He was inspired by Jesus’ words, ‘Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me.’
For Peter, to live was Christ, and to die was gain.
Peter will be remembered as many things: an inspired preacher, a pastor, a friend, a leader, a trailblazer in taking the gospel to those on the margins, and a person who could connect with people from all walks of life.
Above all, he will be remembered for being a humble servant who loved and lived for Jesus. To God be the glory, great things he hath done!