Former Wigan curate Reverend Tim Wilby has died following a serious stroke last week.
A popular and well-known figure in the town Tim, who was 57, spent his entire ordained ministry (apart from a short time as an Army chaplain) in the Diocese of Blackburn - more than 30 years.
He served as a curate at St Wilfrid’s Parish Church during the 1980s and the current rector has organised an 11am memorial service to him on Christmas Eve.
Paying tribute today, the Diocesan Bishop Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, the Bishop of Blackburn, said: “We give thanks to God for Tim and remember his dedicated service in our Diocese since 1983.
“While we are assured of the certainty of our Christian hope and especially in this Advent season I, together with the whole Diocese, hold Tim’s wife Hilary, his four children, his wider family and friends and his congregation at St George’s in our prayers.
“The Diocese will do everything it can to provide support to Tim’s family and to his congregation at this distressing time.”