|The Very Reverend
|Dean of Westminster|
|Church||Church of England|
|In office||1986 to 1996|
|Other posts||Vicar of Church of St Mary the Great, Cambridge (1979–1986)|
10 September 1929|
Harlestone, Northamptonshire, England
|Died||22 October 2006(aged 77)|
|Education||The King's School, Canterbury|
|Alma mater||Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Cuddesdon Theological College
Michael Clement Otway Mayne was born at Harlestone, Northamptonshire, the son of Rev. Michael Ashton Otway Mayne, rector of that parish, and his wife Sylvia Clementia Lumley Ellis. His father committed suicide by jumping from the top of Harleston church tower when Mayne was three years old, after which his mother moved the family to Torbay and then London. With the support of clerical charities, Mayne was educated at The King's School, Canterbury and later at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and Cuddesdon Theological College, Oxford. His early passion for acting and drama flourished while at university, though his former headmaster encouraged him to take up the priesthood.
Ecclesiastical career and later life
Mayne served his curacy at St John's Harpenden (1957–1959) and then spent six years as chaplain to Mervyn Stockwood, Bishop of Southwark (1959–1965). In 1965, newly married, he became vicar of the Parish of Norton, Letchworth Garden City, where he carried out an effective ministry for the next seven years.
In 1986 he was invited by Queen Elizabeth II to become Dean of Westminster Abbey, a position he held until 1996. During his tenure he selected various people to be commemorated in the abbey, including Oscar Wilde, Alexander Pope, Edward Lear, Robert Herrick and Matthew Arnold. On his retirement in 1996 he was made Dean Emeritus of Westminster and also received his KCVO.
During his 50s Mayne was diagnosed with ME and wrote a book about his experiences living with the syndrome (A Year Lost and Found). In 2005 he was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the jaw, and this led him to write a book about his battle with cancer (The Enduring Melody).
- A Year Lost and Found ISBN 0-232-51747-9
- This Sunrise of Wonder: A Quest for God In Art and Nature ISBN 0-00-627870-1
- Pray, Love, Remember ISBN 0-232-52270-7
- The Enduring Melody ISBN 0-232-52687-7
- Harvey (2010)
- Harvey, A. E. (2010). "Mayne, Michael Clement Otway (1929–2006)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press [Jan 2010; online edition, Sept 2010; subscription of UK library membership required]
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