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Jade's example will save many lives'

PUBLISHED: 17:16 25 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:33 12 August 2010

TRIBUTE: Bishop Jonathan Blake married Jade Goody.

TRIBUTE: Bishop Jonathan Blake married Jade Goody.

THE bishop who married Jade Goody exactly a month before she died said she had a raw and real holiness. Bishop Jonathan Blake, from Welling, told the Times how he felt when he heard the 27-year-old had died after a seven-month battle with cervical cance

THE bishop who married Jade Goody exactly a month before she died said she had a raw and real holiness.

Bishop Jonathan Blake, from Welling, told the Times how he felt when he heard the 27-year-old had died after a seven-month battle with cervical cancer in the early hours of Mother's Day last Sunday.

The father-of-five said: "It was tragic for her family, coming on Mother's Day especially, and my heart and prayers went out to the family."

Mr Blake said she had saved the lives of thousands of women across the country after prompting them to go for smear tests.

He said: "She wasn't perfect. She never claimed to be. But with her broad grin and her mischievous spirit she demonstrated a holiness that is raw, real and accessible."

The mother-of-two was told she had cervical cancer while on the Indian version of Big Brother - Big Boss - in August last year. She was told of the news in the diary room before being flown home. Upon discovering the cancer was terminal she vowed to make as much money as she could before she died, to provide for her two sons.

Her wedding to Jack Tweed on February 22 earned her £700,000 in deals with OK! Magazine and Living TV. The Reverend Blake, who conducted her ceremony at Down Hall country house in Essex, said: "She was an inspirational figure, a saint from Upshire, a princess from Bermondsey. She was an exemplar of almost biblical proportions in the people that she has touched for good, helping and providing for the destitute orphan children of India."

Mr Blake said her decision to live her final months in the glare of the media will inspire people with terminal illnesses not to hide away in despair.

He said: "Jade has been an example of a totally different approach in that she lived life to the full.

"She laughed in the face of death and gave all those who are battling cancer an example of how best to make the most of the days that are left.

"She believed she would be alive again in paradise and that she would be able to keep watch over her sons and they would be able to sense her presence and that one day they would be together again. This gave her great hope and can comfort all those facing death."

Radio Kent DJ Paul James interviewed Jade for his BBC show when the 27-year-old made her debut professional stage appearance in the Woodville Halls Christmas Pantomime, sponsored by the Kentish Times series.

It was her first big break after coming out of the Big Brother house in 2002.

She played the part of the wicked queen in a production of Snow White held at the Woodville Halls.

Remembering Jade, Mr James said: "I have always had a lot of respect for Jade and I liked her a lot. It's a very sad day. I thought she was a natural girl and was a great mother that lived her life to the end. I sum her up as a real London girl with her feet on the ground. Her life gave people with nothing hope because she had nothing when she started but cracked it and made a name for herself.

"When people turned against her, she fought back until they started to like her again. All through her life, whatever you think about her, she was very honest."

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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