Tributes paid to “warm and friendly” retired clergyman Michael Butler who died in a crash near his Aylsham home

Canon Michael Butler.

Canon Michael Butler. - Credit: Archant © 2007

Friends of an 82-year-old retired clergyman who died in a crash close to his Aylsham home have spoken of their loss.

The scene of the fatal accident on the A140. Picture: ALEX HURRELL

The scene of the fatal accident on the A140. Picture: ALEX HURRELL - Credit: Archant

Canon Michael Butler's vehicle was involved in a collision on the A140 at Alby on November 28.

People who knew the former Church of England priest spoke of his warm and friendly personality and said he had a wide circle of friends.

Roger Fryatt, 66, had known Canon Butler, who had no children, for more than 40 years.

Canon Butler, of Buxton Road, had visited prisoners at Norwich Prison, been a canon at Chichester Cathedral, and was involved in the creation of the Samaritans.

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'He was always willing to help and offer support to anybody,' said Mr Fryatt, of Dereham Road, Bylaugh.

Canon Butler was a founding member and chairman of Aylsham Music Society, which organises lunchtime concerts in the town. He was a singer, pianist and a lover of theatre and opera.

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Society treasurer Jim Stebbings, 72, said he had known Canon Butler for about 18 months.

Mr Stebbings, of Dereham, said: 'He was a remarkable man, a brave man and never allowed his age to prevent him from doing all the things he did.

'I found him to be a man I was very glad to have known.'

An inquest opened into his death yesterday at Norwich Coroner's Court.

Assistant coroner Nicholas Holroyd said police were investigating the crash. He said a report stated the cause of death was 'severe head and chest injuries secondary to a road traffic collision'.

The inquest was adjourned until May 6 next year. A date has yet to be set for the funeral.

Would you like to pay tribute to Canon Butler? Email

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