Michael Charles Evans was born in Southwark on 10 August 1951, and was ordained into the sacred priesthood on 22 June 1975. After spending time as a curate in the Archdiocese of Southwark, he studied for a Master of Theology degree at the University of London. After his graduation, Michael Evans taught Doctrine at St. John's Seminary, Wonersh. He remained in this post for eight years. From 1985-1987 he was Vice-Rector at the seminary, under the then Rector, Mgr Peter Smith (later to become the second Bishop of East Anglia).
In 1995, Michael Evans was appointed parish priest to St Augustine's church in Tunbridge Wells. He was created a Canon Theologian of St George's Cathedral, Southwark a year later, in 1996. On 14 February 2003, Bl Pope John Paul II appointed him the third Bishop of East Anglia, succeeding the present Archbishop of Southwark, the Most Rev Peter Smith. Bishop Michael was consecrated at the Cathedral Church of St John the Baptist, Norwich on 19 March 2003. Before his consecration, Michael Evans spoke of his astonishment at being appointed the Bishop of East Anglia, adding that he had "a real sense of [his] unworthiness for this responsibility." He also spoke of the joy he felt at being called to this new ministry. This witnessing to the joy of the Christian life was to remain part of Bishop Michael's vocation right to the end.
In 2006, Bishop Michael Evans announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and that he was receiving treatment at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. For many years, though, he was able to continue in his ministry virtually unhindered. He also managed to actively promote Archbishop Oscar Romero's Cause for Canonisation and continued to build the personal bridges that he had formed with the Catholic Church in Cambodia and the Holy Land. He was also a keen supporter of the Taizé Community, and would visit the French ecumenical monastery at least once a year for well over 25 years.
According to the Diocese of East Anglia's website Ecumenical dialogue was always an important part of Bishop Michael Evans' ministry. From 1991 onwards, he was a member of the British Methodist/Roman Catholic Committee, and in 1997 the then Canon Evans was appointed by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity to be one of the eight Catholic members of the International Joint Commission for Dialogue between the World Methodist Council and the Roman Catholic Church. He continued to work for better relations between the Catholic Church and Methodists during his time in East Anglia.
On 2 January 2011, Bishop Michael Evans issued a statement confirming that he had reached the latter stages of his illness, and that he was "most grateful for the ways you [the people of East Anglia] have cared for and so prayerfully supported me in recent years." He also asked for continued prayers, so that he might "joyfully witness something of the good news we are all called to proclaim."