2000 at cathedral pay respect to Bishop Michael
Around 2,000 people attended a funeral service in Norwich today (July 20) to mark the life of the Roman Catholic Bishop of East Anglia, Bishop Michael Evans.
Bishop Michael, 59, died last week after a long battle with cancer. He was appointed in 2003 by Pope John Paul ll.
The St John the Baptist Cathedral service, with what was believed to be the biggest congregation in the Cathedral’s 101-year history, was led by Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nicholls. Every seat and standing space was filled.
The bishop's 96-year-old mother Jeanette Evans, attended along with the Papal representative to the UK, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, and Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor and there was a procession of over 170 bishops, priests and deacons down the centre aisle towards where Bishop Michael’s coffin lay.
The Anglican Bishop of Norwich Graham James
paid tribute to the bishop and said he had lost "a true friend as well as a friend in Christ".
Two personal messages were sent from the Vatican, one from Pope Benedict XVl paying tribute to Bishop Michael's work in East Anglia and another from a joint commission that builds contacts between Catholics and other faiths.
About 30 bishops, 120 priests, 20 deacons and 200 local school children were part of the large congregation that included Catholics from across the country.
Archbishop Nichols said: “We gather with clear faith, hope and trust in the promises of the Lord that death is not the last word but the opening of eternal life.”
The Bishop’s body was later taken to Earlham Crematorium for cremation and later interment in the Cathedral.