Bishop John Brewer died on Saturday morning at the age of 70, the Catholic Media Office reported. He had been in hospital since Thursday and was receiving treatment for cancer. The President of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, Most Rev Michael Bowen, Archbishop of Southwark, said, "Bishop Jack Brewer was a gifted and much-loved bishop with a bubbly sense of humour. He gave exceptional service to the Church both in his own diocese of Lancaster and at national level. He contributed greatly to the work of the Bishops' Conference in a number of different areas. We have lost a first-class bishop and he will be greatly missed." Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor of Westminster said, "I was deeply saddened by the death of Bishop John Brewer. He was not only a valued colleague as a fellow bishop, he was a close personal friend since we began studies in Rome together 50 years ago. The Diocese of Lancaster and the Catholic Church in England mourn a devoted servant of the Church. a good and faithful bishop. May he rest in peace." The Anglican Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev Alan Chesters, said, "I was very sorry to hear of Bishop Brewer's death. The Churches of Lancashire have lost a distinguished scholar and a very wise and pastorally-hearted bishop who worked tirelessly, not only for his own community, but also the greater unity of the Churches. In offering our loving sympathy to our Roman Catholic friends, we know that we have all lost a very dear friend." The funeral of Bishop Brewer will take place at Lancaster Cathedral at 12.00 noon on Monday, 19 June. The chief celebrant will be Archbishop Murphy-O'Connor and the preacher will be Archbishop Kelly of Liverpool. There will be a Mass on Sunday, June 18, at 6.30 pm as the body is brought into church. See also A life of co-operation and service.
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