A homeless man’s funeral is to be held in the church which he classed as his home.
Michael Remmer was found dead in a tent in the graveyard of St Nicholas’s Church in Rectory Bank in West Boldon, on Sunday, October 16.
The 48-year-old had been sleeping in the church yard for some time, although he had previously been sleeping rough in the Boldon area for a number of years.
His funeral will take place at St Nicholas’s tomorrow at 9.15am.
Reverend Chris Fuller, who is based at St Hilda’s Church in Market Place, South Shields, had been friends with Michael for the last 18 months.
He said: “Michael had popped along to some of our sessions and also some of our soup kitchens. He was a very nice man.
“He tended to stay by himself, he didn’t hang round with other groups.
“I know a lot of people were keen to find out when his funeral would be, so I think they would be keen to know it has all been arranged.
“We thought it would be fitting for it to take place at St Nicholas’s and hopefully his friends will be able to come along.”
Another resident, who did not wish to be named, had also befriended Michael and helped him get a tent and the bike he was often seen riding via local charity Hebburn Helps.
She said: “Michael was very popular and lots of people stopped to speak to him.
“Everyone in Boldon knew him or knew of him, whether it be the sandwich shop, the barber’s or in the pub.
“It really saddens me to think that in this day and age people are dying alone in tents.
“I was only talking to him last Thursday.”
Northumbria Police have said no third party is believed to be involved with Mr Remmer’s death.
A spokesman said: “On Sunday, October 16 police were informed that a man had been found dead inside a tent in the churchyard of St Nicholas’s.
“No third party is believed to have been involved, A report has been prepared for the coroner.”
A spokesman for South Tyneside Coroner’s Office said: “An investigation has been opened and adjourned by the coroner.”
People also took to our website to pay their respects.
TheWeding of the Lamb wrote: “I hope this poor man is at rest now and is with the good Lord. I am sure he is in a better place now.”
David Lewins added: “God bless Micky. I hope you find peace and you will be with your mate Leo now. “