A RETIRED vicar who served the parish of Wolverley and Cookley for nearly 30 years has died.

Reverend Geoffrey Shilvock, who worked in churches across the Wyre Forest and wider Worcestershire since the 1970s, passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 14, aged 72.

Born in 1947, Mr Shilvock grew up in Halesowen before later moving to Wolverley.

He read theology at Lampeter University in Wales and trained at Salisbury Theological College, before being ordained deacon in 1972.

His first curacy was at St Mary's Church in Kidderminster.

Mr Shilvock was ordained priest in 1973 and married his partner Sue the following year.

The couple had three children together - Matthew, Claire and Tom - and five grandchildren.

Mr Shilvock became the curate in charge of St Barnabas Church in Franche from 1976 to 1978 and was the priest for Christchurch and St Mary's in Malvern from 1978 to 1985.

He served the parish of Wolverley and Cookley from 1985 until his retirement in 2012.

Paying tribute to her late husband, Mrs Shilvock said: "He was always in church. He was a very gentle, kind person.

"He wasn't terribly well and had a lot of chest problems which meant there was a lot he couldn't do, but he was a very happy contented person.

"His hobbies included playing the piano, which he did well, walking, reading and learning new languages."

Tributes have also been paid on social media from people who attended Mr Shilvock's services or were married by him.

One comment reads: "He had such a big part in village life for such a long time. Condolences to his family."

Another person wrote: "He was a wonderful man, we owe him a lot. The new village hall building in Cookley wouldn't have happened without him."

One person described Mr Shilvock as a "true gentleman", and another wrote: "We were his second wedding in 1985 when he first moved to Wolverley church. He was a lovely man."

A funeral will be held at St Mary's Church in Kidderminster at midday on Friday, January 3.

Donations will go to St Mary's Church and the Friends of Springfield Park, where Mr Shilvock enjoyed walks.