Service will celebrate minister’s contribution

HIGHLY REGARDED The Rev Michael Stopford. (D555A229)
HIGHLY REGARDED The Rev Michael Stopford. (D555A229)

A highly regarded Methodist minister who served communities in Mirfield and Dewsbury has died aged 66.

The Rev Michael Stopford had retired from St Andrew’s and Trinity Methodist churches in Mirfield in July 2012.

But he continued to help others through his valuable work as a part-time chaplain at Kirkwood Hospice and a nursing home in Leeds.

Mr Stopford moved to this area in 1995 as superintendent of the circuit covering Dewsbury and Mirfield. He also served as minister for a number of the town’s Methodist churches.

He opened the town’s Methodist Resource Centre, which was run by his wife Christine, to offer other churches support and advice.

In 2003, Mr Stopford moved from the Dewsbury side of the circuit to become minster at St Andrew’s and Trinity.

Mr Stopford’s contribution to both towns extended beyond his work within his congregations. He was actively involved in the community, helping with events including Mirfield’s St George’s Day Parade and the Christmas tree festival.

He was also an active committee member of Mirfield Allotment Society until his retirement and move to Leeds.

In September 2012, Mr Stopford was named a Mirfield Ambassador in thanks for his services to the town.

Mr Stopford fell ill while on holiday in Norfolk and passed away at Norwich Hospital.

He leaves behind his wife, two children, three stepchildren and six grandchildren.

A service will be held at St Andrew’s, Old Bank Road, Mirfield, on Thursday at 2.30pm.

A collection will be taken for Kirkwood Hospice, which Mr Stopford supported for many years.