HUNDREDS of mourners packed the city’s cathedral yesterday to celebrate the life of a much-loved Worcester book seller.

Friends and family described Stephen Jeynes as an “English gentleman” and an “exceptional man” who will be sorely missed in the Christian community.

Mr Jeynes is believed to have taken his own life at his Warndon Villages home on Thursday, June 26.

Friend Martin Kingston said Mr Jeynes, who was branch manager at the former SPCK Bookshop in the high street, could “sell fridges to the eskimos” and customers would never leave the shop empty-handed.

He said 57-year-old Mr Jeynes was a private and personable man who showed genuine warmth and affection to everyone he met.

Mr Jeynes had four children, Kate, Rachel, Andrew and Emily, and two grandchildren, Ellis and Charlie.

His daughter Rachel said: “He was always there.

“It made us feel loved and at ease whatever we achieved.

“He instilled in me a real lust for life and I am sorry he has gone.”

The congregation was given the opportunity to share their memories of Mr Jeynes and his widow Joy, who had not planned to speak, was given a standing ovation after thanking people for their support.

“As I walked through the cathedral doors I was overwhelmed,” she said.

“Overwhelmed with all the people who are here this afternoon and I have to say thank you for being here and supporting me and my family.

The Revd Paul Swann, of All Saints Church in Deansway, Worcester, led the service and said: “This is probably one of the widest gatherings of Christians in Worcester that there has ever been.”