Bishop of East Anglia dies after cancer battle
By Keith Morris
2011: The Right Reverend Michael Evans, the Catholic Bishop of East Anglia
, died last night at the Norwich and Norfolk Hospital
at the age of 59 after a six-year battle with prostate cancer.
The Diocese of East Anglia announced the sad news that Bishop Michael passed away peacefully at 7.10pm last night (July 11).
He was diagnosed with advanced and aggressive prostate cancer six years ago but continued his ministry throughout his treatment.
Although his engagements were limited from the beginning of this year as his condition deteriorated, he continued to work up until his admission to hospital on Thursday of last week.
The Diocese of East Anglia paid tribute to the care the Bishop received from the local surgery and the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital throughout.
In a recent letter by Bishop Michael, read out to congregations across the Diocese, he said: “As I live now under the shadow of death, my prayer is very much that of St Paul that I may know something of the power of Christ’s resurrection and a share in his sufferings, trusting that the Lord is with me. I pray that even now I can joyfully witness something of the good news we are all called to proclaim."
The Anglican Bishop of Norwich, Rt Rev Graham James
, who worked closely with Bishop Michael on many occasions, paid tribute, saying: "Michael Evans was God's gift to Catholics in East Anglia, to all Christians and those of little or no faith as well. The manner of his dying was the measure of the man - faithful to God and his people, and with an infectious joy about him which pain and suffering could not extinguish. I've lost a dear friend and brother in Christ and I will miss him enormously. He was a wonderful witness to the warm humanity of Christian faith. He lived and breathed the spirit of the Second Vatican Council and all of us benefitted from his spiritual generosity."
Bishop Michael was appointed as the third Bishop of East Anglia by Pope John Paul II on February 14, 2003 and was ordained at the Cathedral Church of St John the Baptist in Norwich on March 19. The Diocese covers Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
Born in South London in August 1951, Bishop Michael was ordained a priest in in 1975, he studied for a Master of Theology degree at the and was a lecturer in Christian Doctrine for eight years. He went on to become a university chaplain and a parish priest in as well as being appointed a Canon Theologian in Southwark in 1996.
Ecumenical dialogue has always been important to him and Bishop Michael has been a member of the British Methodist/Roman Catholic committee for 20 years and a member of the International Joint Council for Dialogue between the World Methodist Council and the Roman Catholic Church since 1997. committee for 20 years and a member of the since 1997.
Bishop Michael is also chairman of the Bishops’ Conference Committee for Christian Unity and is one of four Christian co-presidents of the new Christian-Muslim Forum established by the Archbishop of Canterbury. and is one of four Christian co-presidents of the new established by the.
Please add your tributes or memories of Bishop Michael below or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org