TRIBUTES have been paid to a vicar who died after a battle with cancer.

We reported how Revd Canon Matthew Baynes died, aged 56, on Friday after suffering from stomach and oesophageal cancer.

Canon Baynes had previously received a kidney from his wife Bryony Baynes, the headteacher of Kempsey Primary School, in a living donor transplant in 2015.

The transplant followed 20 years of kidney disease and was a success but just 18 months later he discovered he had cancer.

Mrs Baynes led the tributes, saying: “On Friday I lost my husband, my best friend, my soulmate. For over 32 years he encouraged me to reach for my dreams and to be the very best that I can be.

“He deserved so much more than the hand he was dealt. He faced death with courage, dignity, faith and humour.

“The only shreds of light in the bleakness of the current landscape I inhabit are what we did share together - three incredible children, who stood by his side through all the pain and suffering the cancer brought, who had the courage to put aside their grief and tell him how much they loved him at the end, and who now sustain and support me.

“Matthew leaves much as his legacy - his ministry, his courage, his intelligence, his sheer bloody mindedness - but, most of all, he leaves three amazing young people who will go on to climb mountains and achieve great things in his name. You done good, Baynesie! We love you so much!”

Daughter Megan added: “Dad was everything a good vicar should be. He was kind, and patient and cared for everyone in his parish indiscriminately.

“But to to his children he was so much more than just a good vicar. He was the one-in-a-million dad everyone wants to have.

"He was our biggest cheerleader and a source of quiet strength and endless encouragement.”

She added: “He had a wicked sense of humour and when he found something funny, his whole body shook with laughter. He truly was one of the good guys and has left an indescribable hole in our lives and hearts.”

Miss Baynes also thanked staff at St Richards Hospice, where Mr Baynes died peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones and his dog.

She said: "They were incredibly caring during the worst week of our lives."

Mr Baynes was rector of Bredon as well as Overbury with Teddington, Alstone & Little Washbourne with Beckford & Ashton-under-Hill.

Mr Baynes's funeral will be held at 1pm on Saturday, October 20 at St Giles, Bredon. All are welcome.