Menu

TRIBUTES TO AN HONORARY ASSISTANT BISHOP

Tributes are being paid to the Rt Rev Michael Manktelow, a former Bishop of Basingstoke and Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese in Europe who died on Monday 24 July in Chichester.  He was 89.

The Memorial Service for Bishop Michael will be in Chichester Cathedral on Friday 29 September, 2017, at 3.30pm

Bishop Michael was educated at Whitgift School and Christ's College, Cambridge before a curacy at Noston in Lincolnshire after which he was Vicar of Knaresborough in Yorkshire. Following this he was Vicar of St Wilfrid's Church in Harrogate then Rural Dean before his consecration in March 1977.

He was the Suffragan Bishop of Basingstoke from 1977 to 1993 and on his retirement was followed by Bishop Geoffrey Rowell, former diocesan Bishop in Europe. There will be a family funeral with a memorial service later in the year to be held in Chichester.   

Bishop Michael and his wife Ros were keen supporters of the Friends of the Diocese in Europe. They travelled within the diocese on locum duties, including one in St Nicholas, Helsinki when Tuomas Mäkipää, Chaplain in Helsinki, had just arrived as a newly ordained deacon.

Tuomas recalls: “You may be able to imagine a newly ordained, young deacon who had only a small idea what to do while the Chaplain is on leave. And the next thing you hear is that the locum priest is actually a retired bishop. But from the very beginning it was clear that Bishop Michael was very supportive and pastoral, with sharp humour I am not sure every one always understood.

“The way he was has clearly had an impact how I see the ministry. I have received messages from many members of our church community in Helsinki who cherish many good memories of Bishop Michael. He always carried a pyx with him 'because you never know when you might need them' he said.  The people at St Nicholas will miss him greatly. Prayers of thanksgiving are said at the Eucharist this coming Sunday.”

David Gowan, Bishop’s Nominee to Diocesan Synod and Bishop's Council andn his wife Marna, a member of the Friends of the Diocese Committee add this tribute.

“As Tuomas has already mentioned, Michael and Ros developed close links with the chaplaincy in Helsinki in the 1990s, and many warm friendships from that time have continued.  I recall making expeditions with Michael to visit some of the mediaeval churches in southern and central Finland.  Both Marna and I were confirmed by him at that time, and owe him a deep debt of gratitude.

“Michael had a particular interest in ecumenical relations with the Serbian Orthodox Church, and personally made contributions over many years to help the present-day convent at Gradac, which is situated in a splendid thirteenth century church in the south of Serbia.  In 2006, while I was working in Belgrade, we accompanied him on a journey to Gradac and the great monasteries at Žiča, Studenica and Sopoćani.  He was received with great warmth throughout this visit.  He had a sense of decorum and rightly insisted on pausing in the remote countryside before reaching a monastery to change into the appropriate episcopal attire.  (See the attached photograph.)  More importantly, he maintained a valuable rapport with some of the most liberal and scholarly priests in Serbia.

The photograph shows Bishop Michael and Marna Gowan at the late twelfth century Church of the Mother of God at Studenica (summer of 2006).