A VICAR whose wife gave him the gift of one of her kidneys has died, aged 56.

Revd Canon Matthew Baynes received a kidney from wife Bryony, the headteacher at Kempsey Primary School, in a living donor transplant.

Although the operation went well, Canon Baynes later contracted liver cancer.

He died in the early hours of Friday, September 28.

The Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, said: “Matthew was an outstanding priest who was much loved and respected by all those who knew him, including myself.

"It has been a privilege to minister with him and be alongside him during his final illness.

"Matthew was inspirational in his faith, hope and love to the last. I pray he will be welcomed into the loving arms of the God he served so faithfully. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Bryony and children, Bronwen, Megan and David, in their terrible loss.”

We reported how Mrs Baynes made the generous gift after the clergyman's health rapidly declined.

Canon Baynes had lived with kidney disease for 20 years but was told in 2015 he urgently needed a transplant or dialysis.

At the time, Mrs Baynes said: "I suppose I did it because I love him.

"When I was confronted with the possibility of him not being around I thought I can't have that. He drives me mad but he's my best friend."

However, just 18 months later we reported how the couple had been devastated when he was diagnosed with stomach and oesophageal cancer.

Despite the blow, Mrs Baynes said at the time that the couple, who were together for more than 30 years, considered themselves lucky thanks to their strong family set-up.

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

He was Rural Dean and Associate Chaplain for Agriculture and Rural Life and an Honorary Canon of Worcester Cathedral.