He had begun his working life, out of university, as an accountant. But when his true calling became apparent in 1993, he moved to Bulgaria to set up that country’s Christian Student Union.
He was ordained in 1998, after studying at Oxford and working in the parishes of Brinsworth and Catcliffe, Newcastle, and All Saint’s Church in Ecclesall, where he was associate minister.
In 2006 he had been diagnosed with a brain tumour and underwent surgery which put the cancer into remission.
“It was a huge shock to us all when a routine scan in March 2014 revealed the tumour was back,” said his wife, Jane, whom he met in 1986 when they were in a church drama group together. They married in 1988.
Rev Fillingham is also survived by their two sons, Edward and Alastair.
His Bulgarian colleague, Trifon Trifonov, said: “He had genuine love for all and was a great team leader.”