The Rev. Peter Toon, priest and theologian, dies at 69

May 1, 2009

The Rev. Peter Toon, president emeritus of the Prayer Book Society of the U.S.A., died April 25 in San Diego. He was 69. Toon suffered from amyloidosis, a rare protein disorder.

Toon was best known as a vocal and prolific defender of Anglican Reformation theology and the traditional Book of Common Prayer; he wrote and published more than 25 books, numerous essays and articles, and frequently wrote opinion pieces on the Internet. He was the former president and CEO of the Philadelphia-based Prayer Book Society, which focuses on maintaining the Anglican tradition of common prayer and promoting the use and understanding of the traditional books of common prayer. (The Prayer Book Society considers the 1928 Book of Common Prayer the last genuine publication of the prayer book in America.)

He was a graduate of King's College, London, and Christ Church, Oxford, and was ordained in the Church of England in 1973. In addition to being a parish priest, Toon taught theology in both England and the United States, and was also a visiting professor and guest lecturer at various seminaries and universities in Asia, Europe and Australia. He edited the monthly parish magazine Home Words in England from 1985-2001 and The Mandate, the Prayer Book Society newsletter, from 1995 to 2008.

Toon was born in Yorkshire, England. He is survived by Vita, his wife of 47 years, and their daughter Deborah, who lives in California. A service was held for the family based on the classic Book of Common Prayer, according to the society’s website.

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