TRIBUTES have been pouring in for a much-loved Worcester bookseller found dead last week.

Known throughout the city for his work selling Christian texts, Stephen Jeynes will be greatly missed by his family and the many friends he made through his work and strong faith.

The 57-year-old from Warndon Villages is believed to have taken his own life last Thursday.

Mr Jeynes is thought to have been made redundant from his role as branch manager of the former SPCK Bookshop in the High Street three weeks ago.

As the news spread of his death, flowers and cards have been left outside the shop.

Joy, his wife of 37 years, said: “Steve was always a very loving, caring and selfless person to all his family and friends, and will be greatly missed.”

For 17 years, Mr Jeynes ran a Christian bookshop in Broad Street called Icthus.

He had previously worked at a menswear shop in the Shambles, continued on page two and later as a furniture salesman – before returning to his love of books and his faith at the bookshop SPCK.

Two years ago SPCK was taken over by the St Stephen the Great Charitable Trust and is now called Third Space Books.

Christian website has also been inundated with friends leaving memorial posts for him.

Trevor Gibb, director of Worcester City Mission, wrote: “He was a lively, loving man with a passion for Christ and a heart for the lost. Steve did not just work in the Icthus bookshop, he served in it.

"He saw his work as ministry and was used by God to pray for and witness to many, many people.”

The Revd Paul Swann, of All Saints Church in Deansway, Worcester, said he had great respect for Mr Jeynes.

“I thought very highly of him indeed and feel privileged to have known him,” he said. “It was a huge shock and great loss to everyone who knew him.

“He was also very well known in Worcester and loved by everyone who knew him.”

Droitwich parish priest Doug Chaplin said Mr Jeynes always gave customers a warm welcome.

“He always treated people with warmth, and not just as a customer who he was trying to sell to,” he said.

“There is a very wide range of Christians in Worcester and Steve was always very helpful and welcoming to them all and looked after his customers and staff.

“Most of all we would like to say how sorry we are for his family.”

Simon Kingston, general secretary for SPCK, said Mr Jeynes was well-known and respected for his work in Christian bookselling.

He said: “Although Steve only worked for SPCK for 16 months, he was known and respected for his work in Christian bookselling in Worcester over many years.

“During his brief spell with the society he showed himself to be a good manager, and was popular with staff. He was liked by his colleagues in other shops, and was a thoughtful and responsible team member.”

Mr Jeynes also leaves his children Kate, Rachel, Andrew and Emily and two grandchildren Ellis and Charlie. A memorial service is being held for Mr Jeynes at Worcester Cathedral on Monday, July 7, at 3.30pm.

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