Bishop of East Anglia Michael Evans dies after cancer battle


The Bishop's congregation was told in January that he was terminally ill.

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The Right Reverend Michael Evans, the Catholic Bishop of East Anglia, has died in hospital at the age of 59 after a long battle with prostate cancer.

He was diagnosed with an advanced and aggressive strain in 2005 but continued his ministry throughout his treatment.

The leader of Catholics in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk carried out limited engagements as his condition deteriorated.

He continued to work until his admission to hospital last Thursday.

Canon Evans was appointed the third bishop of East Anglia in February 2003 by Pope John Paul II and was ordained at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Norwich, in March of that year.

He was previously parish priest at St Augustine's in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

On his appointment Canon Evans said: "I was astonished to be appointed as Bishop of East Anglia, and have a real sense of my unworthiness for this responsibility, but I accepted this new ministry with a joyful though nervous 'yes'."

Seminary teacher

He became well known throughout the diocese for his teaching and set up an annual adult religious education programme.

He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Southwark in 1975, and spent two years as assistant priest at St Elizabeth's in Richmond, Surrey.

From 1977-1979 he studied for a Master of Theology degree at Heythrop College, University of London, and then returned to St John's Seminary for eight years as lecturer in Christian doctrine.

From 1985-1987 he was Vice-Rector at the seminary, with the then Monsignor Peter Smith (later the second Bishop of East Anglia, and now Archbishop of Southwark) as Rector.

A statement from the Diocese of East Anglia is expected to be made later.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    Prayers for our wonderful Bishop, who has taught how to live, but also has shown his great faith in our Lord, and shown us, how we must try and be,when the Lord calls us."I said to the man, who stood at the gate of the year,"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown" And he replied;"Go out into to darkness and place your your hand into the hand of God" Fr Micheal we miss you, RIP

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    Father Michael, as I knew him when he was in Tunbridge Wells, was devoted to his church and a great ecumenist. I worked with him and had many meals with him over the time we were together. Along with our Anglican colleague we were known as the Covern when we went to the pub for lunch- we all wore black! He was truly a man of God, compassionate, intelligent, full of fun and a great companion.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    "Fr. Michael": deeply intelligent and intuitive, humble, generous, compassionate; always on the side of the disadvantaged, poor and vulnerable. A wonderful spiritual director and inspirational teacher. Great sense of humour and lover of HOT chilli and Leeds Utd. Totally devoted and committed to his vocation to serve; courageous and dedicated to the end. A true friend. I give thanks for his life.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    It was a pleasure and a privilege to have met and know this wonderful, humble and devoted man. East Anglia Diocese will be a sadder place for his passing. Rest in Peace

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    It was my privilege to work closely with Bishop Michael for eight years in Tunbridge Wells.We have been friends ever since.He was a wonderful, inspiriational friend, priest and bishop.I will miss him.The sheer breadth of his theological knowledge and interests,his sense of purpose and his zest for life.Most of all, I will miss his humour and love of Shostakovitch.Go in peace dear friend.


Comments 5 of 15


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