Mourners line the streets for funeral of former Burnley MP Peter Pike

Family, friends, politicians and civic dignitaries were among the mourners at St Peter's Church in Burnley, for the funeral of former Burnley MP Peter Pike this morning.

By Susan Plunkett
Thursday, 13th January 2022, 12:36 pm

Before the moving service, led by the Bishop of Burnley the Rt Rev Philip North, Mr Pike's cortege passed Turf Moor in a salute to the loyal Claret.

Mr Pike's death last month, at the age of 84, marked the end of an era as he represented Burnley in the Houses of Parliament for 22 years, from 1983 to 2005.

Among the hymns sang during the service was Love Divine, which has special meaning for the family as it was played at the wedding of Mr Pike to his late wife Sheila and also at her funeral when she died in 2017.

Mr Pike's cortege passed Turf Moor in a salute to the loyal Claret

Passionate about fairness and justice for those who could not speak up for themselves Mr Pike was recognised as the voice for the people of Burnley, both during and after his time as MP.

During the service the Leader of Burnley Council Coun. Afrasiab Anwar gave a reading from the writings, sermons and speeches of f Archbishop Desmond Tutu

And personal tributes were paid to Mr Pike by fellow politicians Sir Simon Hughes and Alistair Burt. Although they did not share the same political persuasion the trio became friends through their work to end apartheid in South Africa.

Burnley born opera singer Kathleen Wilkinson sang The Lord's My Shepherd and Pie Jesu at the service which was followed by cremation at Burnley.

Mr Pike died last month aged 84

In honour of the national service he completed with them, the Royal Marines flag was flown at Burnley Crematorium. The committal held there was led by the Rev Paul Payton who is the curate of St Peter and St Stephen's churches in Burnley.

A former leader of Burnley Council, Mr Pike, who leaves two daughters, Carol and Jane, was a champion of many organisations and charities and was the founder of the charity Emmaus which helps homeless people by providing a home, work, training and individual support.

In June last year Mr Pike was honoured with a special medal in recognition of his long-standing voluntary service to the charity.