TRIBUTES have been paid following the death of a former dean of Worcester Cathedral.

The Very Reverend Peter Marshall, Dean of Worcester from 1997 to 2006, died on June 20. Before coming to Worcester, he was a parish priest in the Diocese of Chelmsford and a Residentiary Canon of Ripon.

During his time at Worcester, the restoration project continued, the Music & Light Appeal was launched, and girls were admitted for the first time to the Cathedral Choir. Since his retirement he and his wife Nancy lived in Canada.

The Dean of Worcester, the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, said: "I was sad to hear of the death of Peter Marshall. I am grateful for the ministry of all my distinguished predecessors, and I am aware of how much Peter contributed to the life of the cathedral."

Gerald and Cynthia Harris, at different times both members of the Cathedral Council, wrote:

"Peter Marshall was an affable, always smiling, pastoral priest. As Dean he was self-effacing, non-proprietorial.

"He appointed lay members of the cathedral congregation as Eucharistic administrators, admitted the first girls to sing in the choir and, like other cathedrals, helped to bring about major change in the governance of Worcester Cathedral, including the creation of the Cathedral Council.

"As a chairman of various committees he listened to and valued the contributions of other professionals.

"His easy manner was underlaid by firm views: he expected other members of the Cathedral Chapter to participate collegially in the pattern of daily worship; he took a stand on excessive parking on College Green and, not without controversy, terminated the 9.30am Sunday Family Service so that the Sung Eucharist could begin at 10.30am and include children and families.

"Along with his wife, Nancy, he was a genial host, a good friend to many and a thoughtful and attentive colleague."

A memorial service for Peter will be arranged when it is possible to do so.