20th March 2019
Dr John Barratt-Peacock died peacefully on 5 March 2019 after a long illness resulting from heart failure. He was 77.
He was born on 21 February 1942 to parents John and Winnie Peacock, who attended the Coventry Seventh-day Adventist church. John and his wife Camille emigrated from Derby to Hobart in Tasmania in June 1978, but John may still be remembered by those with whom he studied at Newbold College and by those he taught at Stanborough Park School. His name will always be associated with the GATE (God’s answer to emptiness) folk club outreach programme and with street preaching.
In Australia, John was known as the Father of Home Education. He and Camille home educated their 5 children and John’s PhD thesis was entitled, ‘The Why and How of Home Education in Australia’. It won him the thesis of the year award from La Trobe University. He became a sought-after speaker at conferences and was well known for his interviews on the radio and TV. However, he was most loved for the unstinting support that he gave to home educators in his own state and in every other state of Australia.
John’s unashamedly Christian funeral was attended by 90 mourners from many ethnic groups and across all social classes and belief systems. An Indian Christian sat next to a Pakistani Moslem and several people claiming to be agnostics said that they were touched. The rich and the well-educated mixed with ex-convicts whom John had befriended. It was a testament to his ability to reach out and engage in love with anyone whose path crossed his.
John is lovingly remembered by his wife, his remaining 4 children and his 8 grandchildren; his younger siblings Ella, Stephen and Lynn and their families in the UK.
It was a life well lived.