Sadness as death of much-loved priest, 56, is announced
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rev Canon Matthew Baynes with his wife Bryony back in 2015