A popular vicar known throughout Porthleven and west Cornwall has died from cancer at the age of 64.

Rev Dr Peter Johnson, or Father Peter as he was more commonly known, was the vicar of the United Benefice of West Kerrier, joining the parishes of Porthleven, Breage (with Godolphin and Ashton), Sithney and Germoe.

Father Peter became the first vicar of the new benefice, which was formed on Sunday, November 1, 2014 when he was sworn in during a service of inauguration at St Bartholomew’s Church, Porthleven.

Before this he had a distinguished career within education, having been the headteacher of Ludgvan Primary School and then an Ofsted inspector before being called to the ministry in later life.

Trefor Bowen, churchwarden at Breage, said: "It is with great sadness that he was only able to devote the last four years of his life in shaping the future of these parishes, but during this short time he worked tirelessly to provide a pattern of worship for each church, which would not only move them forward but retain the individual identity of each building.

"His vision was to develop each with a particular characteristic and strength."

As a result, St Germoe became a retreat church with a focus on healing, St Breaca at Breage focussed on being a heritage church with its rich history, St Bartholomew in Porthleven as a town church with a continuing tradition as a concert venue and St Sithney Church as a country church with its agricultural tradition.

Father Peter was also involved with the various primary schools within these parishes and his educational background proved invaluable in his journey to share the Christian faith with the children.

He was, until recently, a trustee of the Southerly Point Co-operative Multi Academy Trust until illness prevented him from being able to represent and promote the Christian ethos within its chain of schools.

Father Peter died on Sunday at St Julia’s Hospice in Hayle, after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.

"He will be fondly remembered by all those who knew him," added Mr Bowen. "We are grateful to his dedicated mission and ministry team who will continue to lead worship in each church until a decision is made on the future of these parishes."

Father Peter leaves behind his wife Angie and his two children and grandchildren.

His funeral will take place on Tuesday, December 18 at 10.30 am in Breage Church.