Sad­ness as death of much-loved pri­est, 56, is an­nounced

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - By PHIL NOR­RIS

AMUCH-LOVED vicar who re­ceived a kid­ney from his head teacher wife has died of can­cer at the age of 56.

The Rev Canon Matthew Baynes, Rec­tor of Bre­don, died on Fri­day, Septem­ber 28, and his death was an­nounced “with great sad­ness” by the Dio­cese of Worces­ter.

The pri­est, 56, suf­fered from kid­ney dis­ease for many years and in 2015, his wife Bryony do­nated one of her kid­neys to him. The op­er­a­tion went well, but in re­cent years Matthew, who was also rec­tor of Over­bury with Ted­ding­ton, Al­stone and Lit­tle Wash­bourne with Beck­ford and Ashton-un­der-hill, con­tracted can­cer of the oe­soph­a­gus and stom­ach.

The pri­est had been Rec­tor of Bre­don since 1999, dur­ing which time he also served as Ru­ral Dean and As­so­ciate Chap­lain for Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral Life as well as be­com­ing a dioce­san rep­re­sen­ta­tive on Gen­eral Synod and an Hon­orary Canon of Worces­ter Cathe­dral.

He was or­dained in the Dio­cese of Lon­don, serv­ing in Berkham­sted be­fore com­ing to the Dio­cese of Worces­ter in 1995 to be Vicar of Christ Church in Cose­ley.

His wife Bryony is head teacher of Kempsey Pri­mary School and they have three chil­dren who are all in their 20s – Bron­wen, Me­gan and David.

The Bishop of Worces­ter, Dr John Inge, said: “Matthew was an out­stand­ing pri­est who was much loved and re­spected by all those who knew him, in­clud­ing my­self.

“It has been a priv­i­lege to min­is­ter with him and be along­side him dur­ing his fi­nal ill­ness.

“Matthew was in­spi­ra­tional in his faith, hope and love to the last.

“I pray he will be wel­comed into the lov­ing arms of the God he served so faith­fully.

“My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Bryony and chil­dren, Bron­wen, Me­gan and David, in their ter­ri­ble loss.”

Speak­ing to Glouces­ter­shire Live shortly af­ter the trans­plant back in 2015, Bryony said the op­er­a­tion had made a huge dif­fer­ence to her hus­band.

“He woke up from the anaes­thetic and in­stantly felt that his head was clearer.

“He was sit­ting up in bed send­ing emails that evening.”

“He’s more pos­i­tive and cheer­ful and feels bet­ter al­ready,” she said at the time.

Back in 2015, Matthew told the Glouces­ter­shire Echo that the op­er­a­tion had been “an ab­so­lute mir­a­cle in terms of how I feel”.

“The op­er­a­tion went amaz­ingly well and I feel bet­ter than I have in many years,” he added.

He said he used to feel tired, slug­gish and strug­gled to con­cen­trate.

“Within hours of the new kid­ney go­ing in, I could feel the dif­fer­ence,” he said.

“I feel clearer in my mind and I have more en­ergy.”

He said he would be for­ever grate­ful to his wife.

“She’s given me an op­por­tu­nity to have a life I other­wise wouldn’t have had,” he said. philip.nor­ris@reach­plc.com

The Rev Canon Matthew Baynes with his wife Bryony back in 2015

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