The Ripon Diocese have announced the sudden death of the Dean of Ripon the Very Rev Keith Jukes at the age of 59.

The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, Bishop John Packer said he died peacefully in Harrogate district Hospital, only hours after being admitted earlier today (Tuesday, May 21) .

The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, John Packer, said: “Our love and prayers go to Suzanne and his children Laura and Matthew.

"Dean Keith was greatly loved by the Cathedral community and by people in the wider city and his death will leave a hole in many of our lives.

"I have lost a close colleague and personal friend. Keith has been a tremendous influence for good within the Cathedral and Diocese – we shall miss his integrity, his ready smile and his generous support."

Dean Keith’s wife, the Revd Suzanne Jukes, was with him at his bedside when he died.

He had written to members of the congregation on Sunday saying doctors had found what they believed was a cancerous growth but said he was in good heart and asking for their prayers.

Julian Smith, MP for Skipton and Ripon, said: "I was always struck by his passion for and commitment to Ripon. He was an inspiring leader of the Diocese and understood completely the important role of the cathedral within the city.


"I very much enjoyed listening to him preaching – he was engaging, funny and always challenging.

“Dean Keith was a forward thinking Church leader whose death has come too soon and will leave a great sense of shock in the community he represented and served so well.”