A FORMER vicar of Sleights who was well-known in the area has died following a long illness.
Retired Reverend Michael Dykes moved into the Whitby area in 1977 to become vicar at Sleights with Eskdaleside-cum-Ugglebarnby and Sneaton.
He died at home in Scarborough where he lived with his wife Ros, on 16 February and his funeral was held on Monday (21 Feb) at St Mark’s Church in Newby.
Rev Dykes (68) was educated at Richmond School, Yorkshire and prior to entering the church ministry he spent four years working as a British Rail surveyor before becoming a full-time youth leader for the YMCA in Leeds and Bradford.
He was also a scout leader and a scout district commissioner.
In 1968 he studied at Chichester Theological College and was ordained at York Minster in 1971.
Following ordination he became a curate in the parish church at Pocklington where he married Ros.
Mr Dykes continued as a curate at Howden Minster near Goole and the couple had a daughter, Nicola.
They moved into the Whitby area in 1977 and their children Jonathan and Kirsty were born.
During that time, Mr Dykes was a member of the York Diocesan Synod and the Diocesan Children and Youth committee and took youth groups on visits to Ryedale Hall Stable Block, now the Emmaus Centre.
Mrs Dykes said: “He was very involved with peace and justice and took two groups, one from Sleights and one from Stokesley, to the Holy Land.
“He had a number of hobbies including bird watching and walking on the moors, he loved wildlife and he made wine and enjoyed cooking.
“He was interested in archaeology, photography and football and was a fan of Leeds United.”
Paying tribute to Mr Dykes, former bishop of Whitby the Right Reverend Gordon Bates said: “Michael was a no-nonsense, straightforward, hard-working priest with true Yorkshire grit and a good sense of humour.
“He had a deep sense of vocation and commitment and it was a great bonus having him to work with.”
Mr Dykes left Sleights to become the rector of Stokesley, Seamer and Hilton where he trained five curates and was a member of the Diocesan Property Trust and Investment Committee and was also a trustee of the Lady Hurrocks Charity, the Preston Education Foundation and the Mary Madeleine Walker Trust.
He was also very active in Churches Together in Stokesley and the launch of a magazine The Bridge as well as acting as secretary of Stokesley and District Community Care Association and the Churches Together day centre.
As well as his wife, son and daughters, Mr Dykes leaves two grand-daughters Chloe and Amy