DENISE Inge, wife of the Bishop of Worcester, has lost her battle against cancer, the diocese has said.

The following statement was posted on the Diocese of Worcester website yesterday:

"It's with immense sadness that we need to report that Denise, Bishop John's wife, died during the afternoon of Sunday, April 20, after her condition deteriorated rapidly in the night. Bishop John was with Denise as she died, as were their daughters and Denise's mother and sister who had recently flown in from America.

"Bishop John said: 'My most beloved Denise died at 3pm today. The end was mercifully quick: she was up and about laughing and joking, welcoming friends and making bolognaise sauce yesterday.

"It's appropriate that the Lord should have taken her to himself on Easter Day, the day of resurrection.

"She believed in that resurrection fervently - though she did not want to die because she wanted to be here to care for her precious girls.

"The dean brought her communion and anointed her this morning - and she was keen for us all to sing hymns of Christ's victory over death. She was full of faith right to the end.

"May the risen Lord Jesus, whom she served so faithfully, welcome her into his loving arms and lead her to our gracious God and Father. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.'

"Please pray for Bishop John, Eleanor and Olivia at this very difficult time. Details of the funeral will be made available as soon as they're finalised."

Tweeted tributes to Denise Inge