A thanksgiving service will be held for Peter Bull at 3pm tomorrow, Saturday 13 August, at Carnhell Green Fellowship, Carnhell Green, Cornwall, TR14 0LY.
Peter, the guesthouse owner whose legal battle to defend biblical marriage went all the way to the Supreme Court, died peacefully in hospital on Friday 29 July aged 76.
Although the Bulls lost the legal case, their Christian witness has challenged people across the UK to remain faithful to the Lord Jesus in their own workplaces.
Until his death, Peter and his wife Hazelmary had run a B&B from their home in Cornwall according to their Christian faith for 30 years.
They welcomed anyone to their home but consistently declined to let double rooms to unmarried couples.
A same-sex couple launched legal proceedings against Peter and Hazelmary after being refused a double bed in September 2008.
The couple’s case against the Bulls was financed by the taxpayer-funded Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Legal Defence Fund
Peter and Hazelmary were supported throughout by The Christian Institute’s Legal Defence Fund.
In January 2011, a judge at Bristol County Court ordered the Bulls to pay £3,600 to the two men for injury to feelings.
Subsequent appeals to the Court of Appeal and, in November 2013, the UK Supreme Court were unsuccessful.
One of the Supreme Court judges later questioned whether the law could better accommodate religious conscience.
In June 2014, Lady Hale, Deputy President of the Supreme Court, said the law needs to work out “how far it should allow for a ‘conscience clause'” for service providers or employees.
In the face of intense media scrutiny, vandalism to their property and even death threats, Mr and Mrs Bull maintained a faithful and gracious Christian witness.
Through these years of trial they have been sustained by the goodness of God and the kindness of Christian believers across the UK.
Peter Bull was born in London and raised in Essex. A building surveyor by trade, he moved to Cornwall after marrying Hazelmary. Initially they ran a guesthouse in Redruth before moving to Marazion 30 years ago.
In the summer of 1975, whilst attending Carnhell Green Fellowship, he was made conscious of his own sin and turned to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
Three weeks later Hazelmary also trusted Christ as Saviour.
The couple recognised that their faith required obedience to the Lord Jesus in every area of life. They could not ‘switch off’ the Bible’s teaching when it came to everyday business.
They were gracious towards those who disagreed with their stand and demonstrated God’s love to those who treated them with hostility.
Last year Peter and Hazelmary travelled to Scotland and Northern Ireland to share their story as part of The Christian Institute’s ‘Faith under Fire’ tour.
Finished the race
In 2 Timothy chapter 4 the Apostle Paul tells us at the end of his life that he had “finished the race” and “kept the faith”.
Peter Bull has now finished his race, having remained faithful to Jesus Christ even when this meant a fierce legal battle.