THE Archbishop of Canterbury has paid tribute to a former Oxford rector, author and lecturer who has died aged 88.

Rev Canon Dr Michael Green, an Honorary Fellow of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, who has authored more than 50 books, died on Wednesday.

Senior bishop and leader of the Church of England Justin Welby said: "Michael was a compelling and consummate evangelist, an example and model to all of the joy and energy that living and loving the gospel bring to proclaimer and listener.

"He served the church locally, nationally and internationally through his ministry of communication in speech and writing.

"As the church we are deeply grateful for his tenacious ministry.

"Beyond telling, however, will be the gratitude of all those that Michael introduced to Jesus Christ – the Lord in whose presence he now knows joy beyond our imagination.”

Rev Green took up his curacy at Holy Trinity, Eastborne in 1957 and was a lecturer at the London College of Divinity from 1960-69.

A long academic career followed and, as a member of the Doctrine Commission and Archbishops’ Advisor in evangelism, he was an influential voice, both in the Church of England and further afield.

Serving at St Aldate’s Oxford and later at Holy Trinity, Raleigh in New Carolina, Rev Green spoke of his role as an evangelical cleric “[being] in the trenches, getting my hands and feet wet, proclaiming the gospel and seeing lives change.”

Rev Green, who lived in Abingdon, also preached at the town's Christ Church at Northcourt Road.

The Rt Rev Dr Steven Croft, the Bishop of Oxford, said: "Michael was a giant of his generation, known and loved by many around the world and an evangelist to the last.

"He inspired and encouraged several generations of clergy and bishops – including me.

"I first heard him preach on my first Sunday as an undergraduate in St. Aldate’s over 40 years ago.

"Michael’s words then were: “I only have one life and I want to live it all for God” have stayed with me through the years. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”

He is survived by his wife Rosemary and his four children and grandchildren.