John Meager  (1938-2020)

In this tribute, we give thanks for the life of John Meager, a former Cathedral Choir Tenor Lay Clerk, who sadly died on Wednesday 17th June at the Sue Ryder hospice in Reading after a period of ill health.

John lived in Mortimer, near Reading, Berkshire with his wife Margaret.  John and Margaret have a daughter, Jane and two sons, Jeremy and Simon, both of whom were Cathedral Choristers.

John’s career was as a Manager for Barclays Bank International and his professionalism has been evident by his softly spoken and sensitive character.

John was a Decani Lay Clerk during the Hurford, Darlington and Walsh eras from 1975 to 1987 and sang alongside fellow tenor colleagues, Tony Edwards and Paul Turner.

John joined the ECA committee in 2011 and was Honorary Treasurer and Vice-Chairman between 2013 and 2017.  He was also Honorary Treasurer for the International Organ Festival.

John was a great fan of Choir Camp and helped with its administration, including looking after the chorister’s pocket money in the field ‘bank’.  Both he and Margaret enjoyed the outdoors and the various daily walks in Somerset.  He enjoyed his pipe (“It kept the midges away”) and was known to sample the occasional glass of ale!

He liked to reminisce about his audition with Peter Hurford which was a testing time and later succumbed to Peter’s wicked sense of humour when challenged at rehearsal:
“Did you just make a mistake Mr Meager?”
“I don’t think so, Sir” was John’s reply (we all saw it coming!)
“I don’t appreciate tenors who don’t think!” was the withering response.

John, who died peacefully with his close family around him and listening to his beloved music, will be remembered as a lovely, caring man who always saw the upside opportunity of every day.

Richard Lilley

Should members wish to have written tributes passed to his family please inform Simon Trott by e-mail to