A POPULAR vicar has died at the age of 72.

Reverend Yvonne Brae, who was associate priest in Sodbury Vale Benefice, died last month, after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2016.

A popular and well-known figure in the town, Rev Brae worked in the parish, which covers Chipping Sodbury, Old Sodbury, Little Sodbury and Horton, for four years, from 2013 to 2017.

Paying tribute, church warden Jane Jones-Williams, said: “Yvonne brought so much enthusiasm to everything she did.

"She was really inventive and creative and loved using different crafts."

These qualities came to the fore when Rev Brae set up a successful play group and cafe in St John's, Chipping Sodbury, called StorKies.

The weekly sessions, which included access to a selection of toys, craft sessions and singing, proved very popular with children - from babies to school age - and parents, grandparents and childminders.

"A lot of people miss her," said Ms Jones-Williams.

"You could always have a joke about things with her. You'd pull her leg and she'd pull yours.

"And she had the most amazing smile - it was really striking."

A year ago, in April 2017, Rev Brae moved to Bacup in Lancashire, to be closer to her family.

When asked how his mother initially became involved in the church, Rev Brae's son David said: "I think it would be more astute to say that God found her rather than she found God after a difficult period in her life.

"This meant that Mum was always passionate for helping the underdogs of our world achieve great things."

In Bacup, despite her own ill-health, she worked with a community group for people with physical and mental health problems and the long-term unemployed.

Rev Brae died on March 11 at Pendleside Hospice, surrounded by her family.

A memorial service will be held for her at St John’s in Chipping Sodbury on Saturday, April 28 at 2pm.