Senior staff from across the diocese have paid tribute to the former Bishop of Coventry the Rt Revd Colin Bennetts who has died after fighting a brain tumour for almost two years.
Colin had worked as an Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Guildford since he moved to Surrey in 2008 with his wife Veronica.
The Archdeacon of Surrey the Ven Stuart Beake who worked alongside Colin in Coventry will take Colinâ€™s funeral in Coventry Cathedral on Tuesday 23 July.
Stuart said: â€œColin was a very special person, there was something quite extraordinary about him.
â€œI worked closely with him during my time in the Diocese of Coventry when he was my bishop and we became firm friends since his move here.
â€œI feel incredibly privileged and humbled to have been asked by Colin to take his funeral. My thoughts and prayers are with Veronica, his four children and their ten grandchildren.â€
The Bishop of Guildford the Rt Revd Christopher Hill said: â€œI have known Colin Bennetts since we were bishops together in the West Midlands. We also worked together on the Liturgical Commission.
â€œColin was a warm, humane, intelligent and generous person. He was also very wise and as an Honorary Assistant Bishop in this diocese, has been the friend and mentor of a number of clergy who greatly appreciated his guidance, including members of the Guildford Diocesan senior staff.
â€œMay Colin now rest in peace in the loving embrace of his Maker and Redeemer. We send out love and prayers to Veronica and Colin's family, that they may be blessed in their grief.â€
Diocesan director of discipleship, vocation and ministry the Revd Canon Dr Hazel Whitehead added her own tribute: â€œBishop Colin Bennetts has been a warm, gentle and wise friend to the diocese and especially to my team.
â€œHe had the gift of seeing beneath the surface as well as understanding people and the Church.
â€œIn his conduct of ministry reviews, he brought sensitivity, rigour and experience and always lived out his faith and witness as a humble Christian.
â€œHe spoke honestly and with care and kept his sense of humour and a sparkle in his eye. I have known him for a very short time but grew to appreciate and admire him, and to trust his judgement and advice. He will be sorely missed here and we all send our deepest sympathy, love and prayers to Veronica and his family.â€