Mike Stanley 1965-2013

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Wednesday 12th June 2013

Liturgical worship man Mike Stanley dies aged 48

MIDLANDS-based singer, songwriter and one half of Catholic liturgical worship duo Boyce & Stanley, Mike Stanley, died on 6th June at St Giles Hospice in Lichfield, West Midlands. For many years Mike headed CJM Music, a teaching, worship and evangelistic ministry which saw Stanley become one of the most important figures in the British Catholic church's music ministry. Mike was born in Walsall in 1965. Mike's father had at one time trained for the priesthood. At the age of six Mike's parish priest gave him a Spanish guitar and by the time he came to study at Leicester Polytechnic he was singing songs in the Christian Union and also playing in pubs performing mainstream cover versions. In 1987 he made his first zero-budget recording, 'Changes', followed by 'Broken Dreams' (1989) and 'Lead Kindly Light' (1991). Mike also began performing regularly with the Irish folk group Drowsy Maggie.

Mike joined the Divine Love Community in Erdington, Birmingham, and began writing worship songs for them. In 1992 Mike met black singer, songwriter and guitarist Jo Boyce and, three years later the album 'And Again I Say Rejoice!', credited to Jo Boyce And Mike Stanley, was released on their newly forged CJM Music. Months later the keyboard player and one-time member of Heartbeat, Chris Rolinson, joined the duo and the next three albums, 'Imagine A World' (1996), 'Born For This' (1997) and 'Live @ The Crossing' (1998) were released credited Rolinson, Boyce & Stanley before Rolinson left the group. Now named Boyce & Stanley, Jo and Mike became hugely influential in Catholic churches and schools across the UK and overseas. Boyce & Stanley albums such as 'Love In The Air' (1997), 'The Word Made Flesh' (1999) and 'In The Company Of Angels' (2000) were released, the latter containing the track "The Book" which was a UCB radio turntable hit. In 2001 the Christmas EP 'The Promise' was issued followed by several very popular Christmas tours. In 2007 Boyce & Stanley created considerable media interest when they sent Pope Benedict an ipod containing the latest album 'Age To Age: Songs For A Pilgrim People'. Boyce & Stanley continued to minister tirelessly and Mike also released the solo CDs the EP 'Faith' and the album 'Dewfall'.

In 2012 Mike was diagnosed with cancer. The CJM Music website advising of Mike's passing quoted from an interview Mike gave in 1993 to Cross Rhythms magazine: "I read a book by Gerald Hughes called God Of Surprises. In it he asked the reader, if they were to die, what their epitaph might be. Now, once it would have been something like 'he entertained a lot of people and put a song in their heart'. But now that's not enough. I'd like my epitaph to read 'he communicated the love of God and touched people's hearts'."

Cross Rhythms' Tony Cummings will write a personal appreciation of his friend and one-time songwriting partner next week. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

Reader Comments

Posted by Irene snelle in bolton @ 22:12 on Aug 7 2017

At mass yesterday at Holy Communion, I heard the most beautiful hymn that resonated through to my soul. and I had to find out who was singing this haunting melody.
I telephoned the Parish Priest today asking the question. Whour was singing on the CD. Boyce and Stanley singing Taste and See
I sourced it this evening and discovered Mike Stanley died after his battle with cancer. Rest in Peace dear servant of God for bringing a peace to me during my trial of treatment for cancer. Thankyou for allowing me to share my joy after listening to this powerful hymn
With gratitude and heartfelt Thsnks
God bless x Irene x

Posted by Paul Nyatigi in Nottingham @ 23:58 on Jan 15 2015

The bread of life truth eternal is one song that has made a difference in my life. This song has calmed down many storms and hurricanes of my life. The song has given me the peace of God which passes all understanding. The spirit of God rules in my heart through this song; may Stanley RIP and may Jo Boyce continue to lead many more to the Lord through music. To the family of Mike Stanley, the Lord God of Israel will surely sustain you; just trust in him alone.

Posted by Roseanne in Japan @ 15:37 on Oct 7 2013

I first met Mike when I was part of a mass choir for Roger Jones Angel Voices. As a teenager I was fascinated by his beautiful voice. Memoriable songs such as 'Here I stand' and 'Listen to me' have been ringing round my head since I heard of his death. The two early Soli House cassettes were very significant to me in my early Christian walk too. I am actually grieving for someone who I met watched at numerous rehursals, but never actually KNEW in person. His anointed singing and songs had an enormous impact on me....Songs like 'Turn to me, oh turn and be saved' 'We eat this bread ..' yes, I too remember the multi-coloured trousers!! I am inspired to make an impact with my life as he did.

Posted by Trevor Kirk in Stoke-on-Trent @ 21:32 on Aug 26 2013

I remember Mike, not just for his music, but also for the remarkable pair of pantaloons that inspired Terry Mills of Nuffsed to write a tun
e called "Mr Stanley's Amazing Trousers'. I saw Mike wearing these trousers at a rehearsal for a Roger Jones musical in 1992 - they WERE amazing!!!

Posted by Sue Davies in Banbury @ 20:55 on Jun 17 2013

As a teacher and parent in the archdiocese for many years I have appreciated Mike's work. He and Jo were a great team and real servants of God. As a teaching staff we prayed for his souls and his family this morning with full hearts.

If he wanted to convey God's love, then I can promise that's what he did, certainly for me and for many people I know.

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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