It is my sad task to share the news that Peter Doran passed away this evening; he has been fighting prostate cancer for some time.
Peter’s time with the pilgrims was relatively short: I remember him meeting us (with Sarah) on the top of the Malvern Hills in 2004 after which he was a regular for several years, before illness hit, but he made a big impact. He was an inspirational leader and as a relatively novice pilgrim was selected as coordinator, leading in 2007 and 2008, the first passing close to his home on the Isle of Wight, the latter his once-and-future home in Gloucestershire. In 2007 Peter kept the pilgrimage show on the road when his good friend Mgr Pat Olivier suffered a heart attack and died whilst walking with us.
I personally remember Peter as a very supportive deputy when I became coordinator in 2009 (although I did have to tell him for being disruptive during notices – there is a certain pleasure in telling a retired headteacher to “SHUT UP DORAN”). Even after he actively walked with us, Peter was an ambassador for the pilgrimage.
Peter leaves behind a pilgrim family: his wife Joan walked with us in the 1970s; Mandy in the 1980s; Sarah in the 90s and since; Ben has put in an appearance from time to time too; and the many grandchildren he loved have also joined us along the way.
Peter will be sadly missed, but I can see him even now, at the pearly gates, saying to St Peter “you see these pilgrims, wearing crosses like this, I know they’re a bit grubby, but let them in”.
Rest in peace, Peter.