Norfolk-based Roger is first minister of music
With over 70 recordings to his name, Norfolk musician Roger Mayor was the Church of England’s first-ever Minister of Music and is used to leading crowds of over 10,000 people in worship. Kevin Gotts reports.
Roger, who now lives in a village near Norwich with wife Penny, is a well-known composer, music arranger, pianist and producer.
Originally from Cheshire, he recalls that 'my parents and grandparents prayed that I would grow up to be a servant of the Lord. I had started learning piano at the age of five, and by the age of 12 I felt God was calling me into my life's work of music ministry.'
Steeped in Christian worship music all his life, Roger received a classical music training in New York and London. Then, having studied at Capernwray Bible College in the early 1970s, he trained to be a teacher in London.
In 1977, Roger was called to full-time music ministry, initially on Merseyside and later in leading music for the international Keswick Convention, and many other national Christian events.
“After a year playing the piano at Keswick I was invited to bring about the transition to a contemporary worship band, leading up to 10,000 people in worship over three weeks’ of meetings in the giant marquee,” he said.
In 1989 Roger served on the music committee and played at several venues for Dr Billy Graham’s Mission '89 in London.
Of his many CDs, his album Gentle Touch won a coveted Album of the Year Award in 1996. In 2005, his hour-long choral work – Julian: Mystical Revelations – won critical acclaim when it was performed and recorded in front of a capacity audience in Norwich Cathedral.
Through the various trials and challenges of life, and following a cancer diagnosis in 2011, Roger says: “The Lord impressed on me that whatever the question, ‘Love is the answer’ for all human relationships, especially in families and in the Church. For all of us, there’s no situation that God’s love cannot reach, or any reason to carry guilt like a heavy load on our backs.”
With the company he founded, SRS Music, he had a long and fruitful career combining his love of teaching with his studio music production and arranging skills. Roger produced over 70 recordings for numerous schools and colleges, as well as for relatively unknown solo artists who then went on to enjoy successful careers as singers or instrumentalists.
Latterly he founded a music ensemble in Norfolk called Bella Musica, whose members are all committed Christians with outstanding music careers. Roger is strongly aware of the power of music to bring the love and healing of the Gospel into the lives of many who are seeking love and wholeness.
His own diagnosis of Stage 4 cancer in 2011 has reinforced his desire to serve the Lord with gladness all the days of his life, and makes for a powerful testimony to God’s gracious healing in his own life.
“I am passionate that my life and music must reflect the warmth and grace God has shown to me,” he says.
Sometimes described as the “quiet man at the piano”, he is softly spoken and carries in his heart and in his manner the quiet confidence of having walked with the Lord through the many storms that life brings.
“As God's hand has been upon me, so He has given me two hands to play the piano and keyboard in order to bring blessing, and two ears to listen to the needs of others,” he said.
Roger and Penny have made their home in a village some eight miles from Norwich with their beloved golden retriever Charlie. The couple are involved in their village church community with Roger serving as an Authorised Worship Assistant, organist and keyboard player.
With his team of professional musicians he has presented several concerts of inspirational music in his home village and in churches around Norfolk, celebrating the inspirational diversity of music in its many forms.
Further information about Bella Musica and the availability of the group for concerts can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured above is Roger Mayor at his piano in his Norfolk home.