Death of musician Peter Skellern at 69, after ordination as a priest

Rev Peter Skellern, who has died aged 69
Rev Peter Skellern, who has died aged 69
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The singer, composer and pianist Peter Skellern has died aged 69, four months after he was ordained as a priest, following special permission from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Skellern, best known for his 1970s hit, You’re A Lady, had been battling brain cancer.

His family said: “Peter’s creativity in art, comedy and music stand as his legacy to love and laughter.

“The love he brought to us will continue to be shared with everyone through his music. We will miss him with all our hearts.”

Born in Bury, Lancashire, before later moving to Cornwall, Skellern began his musical career at his local church and studied at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

He began recording in the 1970s, releasing 14 albums and collaborating with fellow musician, Sir Richard Stilgoe.

He began ordination training, a dream since he was a boy of nine, nearly three years ago.

He was then diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, but was encouraged to continue with his work.

Following his official ordination, he said: “For about a week I hung in this abyss and I just grabbed God. It was like that for about a week and then God closed the ground beneath me and I became resigned and happy.”