Tributes paid after death of long-serving church member

Tributes have been paid to a long-serving member of the Diocese of Worcester following his death.

Tributes have been paid to Professor Michael Clarke following his death at the age of 77
Tributes have been paid to Professor Michael Clarke following his death at the age of 77

Professor Michael Clarke CBE DL died on December 22 in Worcester after some years of suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, leaving behind his wife Angela.

He was described as a good friend and wise counsellor by those who worked with him and who called him a friend.

In addition to a distinguished university career, particularly as deputy vice-chancellor of Birmingham University, Professor Clarke gave years of service to the Church of England, to the Diocese of Worcester, and to Worcester Cathedral.

He was a prominent member of the General Synod, and chaired several of the most contentious synod debates and, in 2018, was awarded the Canterbury Cross for services to the Church of England by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Professor Clarke was one of the first two lay members of the Worcester Cathedral Chapter, chair of the Cathedral Council, and chair of the Three Choirs Festival Committee.

He was a governor of the King’s School, a governor of the University of Worcester, and a deputy lieutenant of the county.

The Bishop of Worcester, Rt Rev. Dr John Inge said: "Michael Clarke will be sorely missed by very many people, including me.

"His contribution to church and society was exceptional and exemplary: he gave of himself unstintingly for the good of others.

"I feel privileged to have known him, to have learned from him and to have counted him as a friend.

"May he be welcomed into the loving arms of the God he served so well, whose love is stronger than death."

The Dean of Worcester, Peter Atkinson, said: "Michael was one of the first people I met when I came to Worcester.

"He remained a good friend, a wise counsellor, and a kind unofficial mentor.

"His faithful membership of the Church of England was rooted in his Yorkshire vicarage childhood.

"It was a privilege to learn from his long years of experience, often dispensed over pints of beer in a country pub."

A private funeral will be held for Professor Clarke and a celebration of his life is set to be arranged.

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