One of Norwich’s best-known religious figures has passed away at the age of 72 after losing his battle with cancer.

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Canon Michael Stagg had become very popular locally since joining the Diocese of Norwich in 1988, when he took up the post of communications officer and chaplain to the Bishop of Norwich, then the Rt Revd Peter Nott.

Following his passing on Monday, Canon Stagg, of Ash Grove, Norwich, off Constitution Hill, has been praised for his devotion to the church by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James.

Bishop Graham said: “Michael Stagg seemed to know more people in the diocese than almost any other priest, and a huge number were devoted to him.

“He was a fine pastor, spiritual director and friend with a great sense of humour and a wonderful turn of phrase.

“Michael may have been small in stature, but his death means the Diocese has lost one of its spiritual giants.”

Prior to moving to Norwich he was ordained in 1963 to serve in the Diocese of Bath and Wells and also served in the dioceses of Worcester and Lincoln.

He moved from Bishop’s House to become rector of Sprowston in 1993 and also rural dean of Norwich North for six years from 1995. He subsequently served in the city centre parishes of St Andrews and St George, Colegate.

A statement released by the Diocese of Norwich in tribute to Canon Stagg also said: Following retirement in 2005, Michael’s ministry continued to flourish and his interests and appetite for work never stinted.

“He made an impact upon many as a retreat conductor, a spiritual guide, trusted friend and theological catalyst and went about his business with diligence and humour.”

The funeral, a requiem mass at which the Bishop of Norwich will preside, is to take place at Norwich Cathedral at 12.30pm on Tuesday, October 2, with all welcome to attend.

Would you like to pay tribute to someone? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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