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Peter Coleridge died in June 2019. He had been diagnosed with cancer shortly after returning from Gaza where he witnessed the shooting of unarmed protestors on the Gaza border in Summer 2018. From 1981 to 1994 he had worked for Oxfam as Regional Manager for the Middle East, when among much else he was involved with the rebuilding of Palestinian refugee camps destroyed during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. From 1995 to 2001 he was working in Afghanistan with the UN-organised Comprehensive Disabled Afghans Programme, at a time when Afghanistan was still more or less controlled by the Taliban. It was a wonderful privilege to have known him.

If belief is understood as something
other than just
acceptance of a particular
speculative hypothesis - rather
more of the nature of
trust -
this Peter, when
throwing himself
out of the boat
into the sea, the enormity
of worlds where nothing
was immediately familiar, could be said
to have believed, to have had
faith that he could walk
not perhaps to an outstretched hand but nonetheless
to an ever unfolding
of mysteries. For what
to us is foreignness but
mystery? This Peter was always
giving and helping but it wasn't just
such generous care
that drove him on.
The line of light
drawn from the Sun
in the sea is called
'St Peter's pathway'.
This Peter
followed that pathway, never perhaps
seeing the Sun but always
knowing it was there.