More than 250 people helped celebrate the life of a Norfolk reverend
Two bishops helped conduct a service to celebrate the life of Rev’d Michael Banks, of Saxthorpe, who served in the Diocese of Norwich from 2003 to 2005.
More than 250 people filled St Andrew’s Church, Saxthorpe, for the service, including family, friends and colleagues, past and present, and 20 clergy.
It was conducted by Bishop Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely, Bishop Jonathan Meyrick, Bishop of Lynn and Rev’d Canon Andrew Beane, Team Rector & Rural Dean, Aylsham and District Team Ministry.
Mr Banks had planned the service in January when his cancer returned.
The readings were made by his daughter and two brothers, while memories of his life were shared by his son.
Bishop Stephen Conway had trained with Mr Banks and four other friends, at Westcott House Theological College in Cambridge.
And they had met up annually for a series of catch-up sessions in the 33 years since.
After the service at the church, which was decorated by Heather Monks and Anne Humphrey, the family went to Cromer crematorium, and the wake was held at The Links, West Runton.
Mr Banks’ widow, Judith Banks thanked Addenbrooke’s, Cambridge University Hospitals’ Trust, and the Norfolk and Norwich University Trust for caring for her husband in the last nine years.
She also thanked the palliative care team at Priscilla Bacon Lodge, north Norfolk district nurses, the doctors and nurses of Aldborough surgery, the out-of-hours nurses and the 111 doctors, whose care could not be faulted, she said.
She also praised Ivan Fisher Independent Funeral Home, Aylsham, for its sensitive attention to every part of the arrangements.
Donations are to be shared between St Andrew’s Church, Saxthorpe and Cancer Research UK.
Mrs Banks said: “Thank you to everyone for their prayerful and practical help over the many months of Michael’s illnesses. Thanks to these efforts, Michael was able to live a fulsome final chapter of his inspirational life, particularly enjoying time spent with family and friends.”
Mr Banks, who was a former chief executive of Stevenage Borough Council, died at home with Mrs Banks and a friend in attendance on July 5, aged 78.