TRIBUTES have been paid to a senior Winchester Cathedral clergyman who has died suddenly at the age of 60.

The Reverend Canon Michael St John-Channell had become vicar of Hurstbourne Priors, Longparish and St Mary Bourne near Andover after retiring last year as Precentor and Sacrist at the cathedral. He had held the post since 2006.

The Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Ernie Jeffs, announced the news to the council meeting.

He said: “I always found Canon Michael quite a character. He will be sorely missed.”

James Atwell, Dean of Winchester, said: “We have all been coming to terms with the sudden loss of Canon Michael St John Channell and thinking particularly of his family and those close to him.”

The funeral will take place at the cathedral on Friday March 14 at 10.30am in the form of a Requiem Eucharist. A service of thanksgiving will be held at a date to be announced.

The funeral service will be followed by a private burial ceremony at St Mary Bourne.