MAJOR John Bailey, who was appointed MBE in the 2007 Queen’s New Year’s Honours for services to the Church of England in Worcester, has died after a long illness at the age of 88.
He was a valued and knowledgeable voluntary guide at the cathedral for 20 years, showing thousands of visitors the glories of the ancient building.
From 1999 to 2003, he was also chairman of the Friends of Worcester Cathedral.
His uncle was Bishop Arthur William Perowne, who was the Bishop of Worcester from 1931 to 1941, while his father, the Rev H Bailey was the vicar of Stone, near Kidderminster, and then rector of Upton-upon-Severn for 16 years.
Maj Bailey saw military service with the King’s Own Royal Regiment and the 1st Battalion of the Worcester-shire Regiment after being commissioned in 1943 and saw action in Italy.
He left the Regular Army in 1948 to join the Territorial Army and served with the 7th Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment and RA until 1968 being awarded the Territorial Decoration and Bar. He was the Christian stewardship adviser for the Worcester Diocese and the Birmingham Diocese from 1962 to 1979, a member of the Church Assembly from 1968 to 1970 and a member of the General Synod from 1970 to 1980.
He also served on the bishop’s council of the Worcester Diocese for six years, the diocesan synod for 12 years and was churchwarden of St Barnabas, Worcester, for five years.
Maj Bailey was a trustee of the Worcester and Dudley Historic Churches Trust, chairman of the Worcester diocesan advisery committee for the care of churches, chairman of the trustees of the Worcester diocesan church house, chairman of the governors of Bishop Perowne C of E College, a member of the Worcester Three Choirs executive committee from 1990 to 1999 and the festival’s ticket office manager and chief steward for several years. He was also a past chairman of the Claines branch of Probus.
The award which gave Maj Bailey the greatest joy was the Cross of St Wulfstan.
In 2006, his wife Robina was awarded the MBE by the Queen for decades of voluntary service to the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen’s Families Association. The couple’s home is in Lansdowne Crescent, Worcester.