Michael moved to the Diocese in 1988 when he took up the post of Diocesan Communications Officer and Chaplain to the Bishop of Norwich, then the Rt Revd Peter Nott. This was a post which suited his appetite for news, his interest in people and a desire to engage fully with the life of the church throughout the Diocese. 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. 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, spiritual guide, trusted friend and theological catalyst as he conducted his ministry with diligence and humour.
Paying tribute today, the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James 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.”
When diagnosed with cancer eighteen months ago, Michael continued his ministry as he learned to live with his condition with honesty and genuine trust in the purposes of God. Many have learned though his experiences and none who were present when he preached in the Cathedral at the Retired Clergy Eucharist in the summer of 2011 will ever forget his words delivered with such nerve and flair!
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 2nd October and of course everyone is most welcome.