Peter was born in 1936 in Yorkshire. He gained a BA in History at Leeds University and a BD in Theology at Manchester. At the same time he trained for the Methodist ministry and was ordained in 1963. He served in Lincolnshire before moving to Culford Methodist Boarding School in Suffolk and was, at the same time, in charge of a Methodist church in Bury St Edmunds. Throughout his ministry, Peter wrote religious poetry, which is how he came to know Kevin Mayhew.