THE Bishop of Winchester has paid tribute to St Mary Bourne priest in charge Canon St John-Chanell who died on Wednesday.

Bishop of Winchester, the Most Rev Tim Dakin said: "Michael was a good friend and it was with great personal sadness that I learnt that he died on Wednesday. "He was a valued colleague who faithfully served the Diocese for many years.

"When I arrived in the Diocese Michael was serving as a skilled and much-loved Precentor at the Cathedral.

"An experienced priest, he had previously served in a variety of contexts in the Dioceses of Portsmouth and London, as a Rural Dean in the Diocese Gloucester, and at Lincoln Cathedral. In October last year he moved to become priest in charge of Hurstbourne Priors & Longparish & St Mary Bourne & Woodcott.

"He also agreed to be my Rural Ministry Adviser – a role he was just beginning to shape and develop.

“I know that people right across the Winchester Diocese will join me in praying for Michael’s friends and family at this time. We will all miss him greatly.”