The Rt Revd Peter Hancock read Natural Sciences at Selwyn College, Cambridge and then studied for ordained ministry at Oak Hill Theological College. He served his first curacy at Portsdown in Portsmouth Diocese from 1980 to 1983. From 1983 to 1987 he was Curate at Radipole and Melcombe Regis in the Diocese of Salisbury. From 1987 to 1999 he was Vicar of Cowplain in the Diocese of Portsmouth. From 1993 to 1998 he was Rural Dean of Havant. From 1997 to 1999 he was an Honorary Canon of Portsmouth Cathedral. From 1999 to 2010 he was Archdeacon of Meon in the Diocese of Portsmouth. From 2003 to 2006 he was Diocesan Director of Mission and from 2010 to 2014 he was the Suffragan Bishop of Basingstoke.
Bishop Peter was born in Kent in 1955 but grew up in the Isle of Wight before his family moved to Fareham, Hampshire when he was aged 11. He is a member of the Society of Ordained Scientists and has an interest in the relationship between science and Christianity.
Children and young people have been at the centre of his ministry. Previously he has undertaken youth work in parishes, helping organise venture holidays. He was also district scout chaplain and has a long association with scouting and guiding that he will look to continue in Somerset.
Bishop Peter has a passion for the countryside. He and his wife, Jane, can often be found out and about walking their Golden Retriever, Juno. He loves being by the sea and has never lived far from it and is looking forward to exploring Somerset’s coast line. His love for the countryside goes hand-in-hand with his concern for the environment.
Bishop Peter’s love of the countryside translates into a strong interest in rural and environmental issues. This, alongside encouraging children and young people, and supporting the homeless and most vulnerable in society, forms what Bishop Peter describes as the “three threads” of his ministry.
Peter and Jane have four grown-up children, Claire, Richard, Charlotte and William. Claire is a tropical agriculturalist. She travels extensively and works for Tearfund as a Global Food Security Officer. Richard trained as an engineer and is now an insurance broker in the City. Charlotte is a physiotherapist working in University College Hospital. William is an engineer and has just begun working for an engineering consultancy firm. All four children live and work in London.
Bishop Peter’s interests include walking, meeting people, travelling and watching sport. He has particular concerns for the environment and the work of mission and development agencies.