THE sudden death of a man has shocked the cathedral, Winchester College and city's music community.

Tim Pride, 55, was a long-serving member of the cathedral choir and for more than 20 years ran the Kingsgate Wines and Provisions on Kingsgate Street.

He was found dead at home after police entered following worried calls.

The shop has been closed because the cause of death was unclear and may have been Covid-related.

The Dean of Winchester, the Very Rev Catherine Ogle, said in a statement: "Tim’s contribution to the life of the Cathedral community is immeasurable. Tim sang in the Cathedral Choir from 1985-2020, in which time he was also the librarian and chorister master. He was greatly talented and valued by everyone here both as a colleague, and as a friend.

"Tim was on the Board of the Winchester Festival and a manager of Kingsgate Wines and Provisions, and therefore known to generations of boys from the College as well as the neighbourhood.

Many of the customers were pupils and staff at Winchester College.

A friend, Ali Rayden, said: "He was a family friend for over 35 years. Those whose lives have been closely linked to every day cathedral life are devastated to have lost Tim, especially at such a young age.

"His singing voice was sublime, a gift which helped magnify the joy of celebratory services and brought such comfort at sad ones.

A note on the shop door said: "Since we do not know what caused Tim's death, we cannot discount the possibility that Covid-19 had some part to play. With this uncertainty we have taken the decision to put the shop 'in slumber' until further notice."

Several notes have been left on the door expressing shock and sadness. One said simply: "Kind, considerate, gentle, funny, generous, loyal, supportive, warm, equable, dependable. A rock to many people."

Another signed Camilla, Rob, Alfie, Finn, Delilah and Demelza said: "The shop you managed was always such a happy place to go, I've never known such a place so special. Your smile will be what I remember most.

"As a family we are completely heartbroken. The children adored you, you always treated them as equals, giving them time and sharing with them the same joy you did with everyone."