Final album as Norfolk composer loses cancer fight

Inspirational Norfolk Christian composer and producer, Roger Mayor, has lost his battle against cancer, just weeks after releasing his final CD called "Closer".

Roger's death was announced on his Facebook page which said: "On Monday June 27, our dearest Roger went to be with his Lord and Saviour. He was comforted by wife Penny and those who loved him dearly. He departed this world in no pain but in total peace.

"Roger was an inspiration to so many and his faith in the Lord was beyond measure. His courage through all that he endured was so inspiring to us and all who knew him closely. He has fought a tough and long fight right to the end and now he is 'The Winner'.

"Roger’s legacy will live on for many years to come especially through the albums he’s produced and particularly his final album Closer which is such a beautiful piece of work that he desperately wanted to finish before becoming too sick," said the Facebook message.

Closer was the new concept double-album by Roger, who said that it’s release marked the last mile of his four decades of Christian music ministry in leading worship at major national events, composing, arranging and producing. He described it as “The Final Album”, and was convinced that only by God's grace and daily strength was he able to complete it in early 2022.

After living with advanced cancer for the past decade, Roger had metastatic spinal cord compression, with cancer spread widely in his spine. This rendered him paralysed below the waist, and affected the use of his right hand as well as sustaining the loss of his feet for pedalling.

Throughout his long battle, Roger acknowledged the unfailing support of Penny, his devoted wife of 20 years. Caring for him 24/7 in their home near Norwich, she made the completion of the new album possible by her single-minded dedication.

“This recording is my sincere attempt to blend music and personal reflections to show that there is always an open door back to God's heart,” said Roger. “The Bible is clear on this point – that if we really want God to draw near, He Himself is the guide through the fog to help us find time and space to draw near to Him.

“Although I have lived with cancer for some years, this album has been recorded and produced under the pressure of recently receiving a terminal prognosis. I am so grateful to God for giving me the strength and deep inner peace in order to complete it.”

Closer was the 16th CD that Roger had released over a career spanning 40 years. He was diagnosed with advanced cancer 10 years ago but still managed to live a full and active life for most of that time, which included spells of intensive treatment such as chemotherapy, radium treatment, hormone therapy and radiotherapy.

Occasionally it was gruelling and debilitating, said Roger, but he was determined to continue to use his God-given abilities to bring blessing and encouragement to as many as possible, presenting gospel concerts and recording new albums.

Closer was released as a two-CD set. The first features Roger's very personal reflections with Bible references throughout, and is gently blended with his 12 beautiful music tracks, most of which sounding very much like film music.

A YouTube video of the music with a prelude from Roger is now available here.

On the second CD, the listener can choose to listen to the music tracks alone, without the overlay of the voice. This is the perfect choice for gentle background music, with poignant melodies, soaring harmonies and beautiful orchestrations, featuring the smooth piano stylings that Roger has become so well-known for.

Closer is a follow-up to Roger’s 2020 album Whispers which received so many positive reviews and comments. Bishop of Norwich Graham Usher, wrote: “I've been using your reflections early each morning and enjoyed your music... what a gift they are. Your voice is like another musical instrument with its gentleness and wisdom. Thank you for blessing me with your gifts.”

You can buy Closer for £11.99 (two for £20), and find out more about Roger’s other work at: www.rogermayor.uk

It is also now available at Spotify, Amazon Music, i-tunes and Deezer.

A celebration of Roger's life will be held at 11am on July 27 at St Peters Church, Strumpshaw, Norwich, NR13 4NN and afterwards at Barn Hill for refreshments.

Please add you memories of and tributes to Roger below.

Keith Morris, 29/06/2022
Rafe Kirkcaldy (Guest) 30/06/2022 08:15
Roger is an inspiration to us all and his beautiful dedicated wife Penny, he will be greatly missed by anyone who knew him, we had the please of playing and singing alongside him when he led the worship at TLC church Norwich, gone but never forgotten, we love you Sir Roger your friends Rafe & Claire xx
David Fitzgerald (Guest) 30/06/2022 08:55
I first met Roger back in the 1980’s, when he was invited to direct the Choir for one of Adrian Snell’s UK Cathedrals Tour of his huge production of ‘Alpha + Omega’. We became firm friends and soon after our meeting I was invited to record on Roger’s solo CD recording at ICC Studios in Eastbourne. The years have passed and many beautiful and inspirational recordings have been made by Roger and his highly gifted musicians & singers. Since moving to Norfolk (around 20 years ago) the recordings, concerts & worship events have unfolded and have been such a huge blessing, for those who were privileged to become a part of these and most of all to those for whom these were intended. The last two projects, ‘Whispers’ & ‘Closer’ are deeply personal and were described to me by Roger as his ‘last will & testament’. I believe these to be intrinsically beautiful messages of love and of grace in spoken word, set within musical landscapes that perfectly illustrate the message that inspire these. Roger was such a beautiful, loving servant of God. He was highly intelligent, deeply spiritual and always a joy to be with. I thank God for our long friendship, shared moments in deep conversation and for the high honour of offering worship in music with this most special friend & brother. Shalom dear friend.
Matthew & Vanessa May (Guest) 01/07/2022 01:45
He was a loyal friend with words of wisdom, Godly wisdom. He was a man of courage. Even when he struggled with his health, he still had that great sense of humour, he’s just lovely. His soft voice will always be remembered. … Roger was a truly faithful servant. I can’t thank God enough for letting us make good memories together, it will be forever kept in our hearts ??.. He was one of a kind.
I can’t believe I’m saying this but Rest In Peace our darling Roger ?? and one day, we will see you again, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.”
It has been a great honour and privilege to be able to perform alongside world class musicians, organised and arranged by a world class Producer himself, on the piano, Mr Roger Mayor. He gathered all the believers (regularly)together through his beautiful music and love. THANK YOU ROGER ?? We will love you forever and always xx

“Only love knows, because only love understands.”-Roger Mayor ??
Kevin Gotts (guest) (Guest) 01/07/2022 08:14
In all of my contact with Roger over the past few years he always permeated the love of Jesus through his gentleness, kindness and hope. My prayers go out to Penny his amazing wife. Shalom. Kevin

Published: 29/06/2022
Keith Morris