Tributes have been paid to a Christian worker whose work saw him serve internationally while remaining committed to Cumbria.

Peter Maiden, who was born in Carlisle, served with missionary charity Operation Mobilisation (OM) for many years, which took him around the world.

But he never lost sight of his roots, remaining heavily involved with his home church and serving Keswick Convention for many years in a variety of roles.

Mr Maiden joined OM in 1974 as ministry leader in the UK. He later served alongside founder George Verwer as the associate international director before stepping into the role of international director in 2003 until his retirement in 2013.

Lawrence Tong, current international director at OM, said: “Our brother will be missed, but the legacy of his work for OM and the greater mission to reach the nations—as well as his kindness and friendship—won’t be forgotten.”

Mr Maiden’s service to Keswick Ministries, which runs the annual Christian convention in the town, ranged from being a trustee, including a spell as chairman, to preaching at the event and associated events around the UK, and latterly taking on the role of minister-at-large. He also worked behind the scenes to support the organisation in unseen ways.

James Robson, ministry director for the charity, said: “It’s a time of immense sadness – for those left behind, including of course his beloved wife, Win, his children, grandchildren and wider family, and those around the world impacted through his life and ministry. It’s also a release for him, too, as he is with the Lord he loved and served, following a 12-month battle with cancer.

“Peter was a man who didn’t just love Jesus Christ, he also lived for him and showed a Christlikeness that was the fruit of consistent discipleship over his whole life. Wherever you saw him, in whatever situation, and with whoever he was talking to, he was the same.

“Peter was a man of immense gifts, yet he wore them lightly. He was a team player, equally at home on the main platform at Keswick, preaching, or hoovering the creche with no public gaze. The foundation of his day and his life was prayer, dependence on the God he loved and served, and he sought to live a life shaped by the Word of God.

“Peter’s heart burned with a passion for those who did not know Christ, and every fibre of his being and every moment of his life had that global perspective.

“Even when he was seriously ill, he was genuinely interested in others. Far from being self-obsessed, he cared for others in a way that meant everyone who engaged with him felt better for having been with him. Even his characteristically brief emails bore the marks of his love and care.”

Mr Maiden was a member of Carlisle’s Hebron Evangelical Church for most of his life and served as an elder for many years, remaining rooted in and committed to his local church family despite his work taking him around the globe.

Donald Mackay, a leader of the church, said: “He was a key pillar in the church and in the leadership. One of the distinguishing marks about Peter was his humility. Even though he had such a global role in international mission, he was very much committed to family, to home, to Carlisle, to Cumbria and to his local church.

“He was a family man. You never referred to Peter on his own, it was always Peter and Win. They were tremendous role models for families and couples and they provided a lot of advice for couples who wer getting married, people who were married and young families. They always made time for people.

“Another thing I’ll remember about Peter is the wisdom that he brought into situations. He was very insightful.”

Mr Maiden was also a trustee of Capernwray Hall in Carnforth and its Bible school.

He wrote numerous books the latest of which, entitled Radical Gratitude, was published this month.

Mr Maiden retired to Kendal, where his funeral was held on Monday. A larger service is set to be held at a later date.

A fund has been set up in his honour, with donations to be split between OM and Keswick Ministries at Mr Maiden's request.

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