TRIBUTES have been paid to an inspirational Bishop of Dudley, who has died at the age of 88.

The Rt Revd Tony Dumper passed away in Bristol on August 27.

Bishop Tony was only the second person to be appointed to the post in 1977 and was fondly regarded as being inspirational - sticking to his principals on issues which sometimes made him unpopular.

Serving the borough for 15 years until his retirement in 1993, Bishop Tony also chaired the Dudley Race Equality Council and helped found the Church Housing Association of Dudley and District.

He was also staunchly supported throughout the years by his German-born wife, Sybille, who died suddenly in 2001, with the pair known for their lively and entertaining social evenings at the Bishop’s House.

The current Bishop of Dudley, David Walker, said: “It was Tony Dumper who really gave shape to the role of Bishop of Dudley. Many of the organisations that he founded in the borough still thrive and serve the community today. They form a very visible legacy to a town that took him dearly to its heart and still holds him very fondly.”

His funeral is set to take place in Bristol on Friday, with a memorial service set to be held in Worcester Cathedral at a later date.

He leaves behind three children and four grandchildren.