Election of Master and Wardens 2022-23

Posted on 8 August 2022

Brigadier John Meardon DL, Master

John Meardon was born in Devon in 1947, raised in Sussex and then spent the next 34 years visiting many parts of the world as a Royal Marines officer.  Although trained as a commando and parachutist, he also qualified as an Army helicopter pilot, flying small reconnaissance and anti-tank aircraft in every climatic condition, but especially in the Arctic.  Displaying ultimate flexibility, he was staff trained by the Navy, Army and Royal Air Force before commanding a helicopter squadron and what is now 43 Commando Royal Marines, responsible for the security of the UK’s nuclear submarines and their ballistic missiles.

Retiring from the military in 1998, John was fortunate to be appointed Receiver General of Canterbury Cathedral, beginning an 18 year connection with one of England’s most wonderful buildings.  His long-held interests in archaeology and historic architecture were inspired by the ability to work in such an environment and to have the care of the Cathedral and the community that lived and worked around it.  The opportunity to closely examine the work of centuries in the company of leading experts was matched by the appreciation of the skills of the modern stonemasons.  He helped found the Cathedrals Workshop Fellowship to raise the professional standards of young people training for careers in heritage conservation.

Involvement with the training of future masons led to John’s introduction to the Carpenters’ Company through the Building Crafts College and he joined the Company in 2009.  He was installed as Master in August 2022.  Connections with stonemasonry have inspired him to take up stone and wood carving, often using stone rejected by the Cathedral masons, although a recent project resulted in the carving of a half-ton stone cross in an extremely hard Armenian stone which now sits in the Cathedral’s Memorial Garden.

John and Ann live in Canterbury and have three children and six grandchildren.  He keeps bees, is involved with local choral and archaeological organisations and has been a Deputy Lieutenant of Kent since 2007.

The Wardens for this year are Senior Warden – Dr Allen Zimbler, Middle Warden – Dr Loyd Grossman CBE and Junior Warden – Mr Steve Corbett. The Company’s Clerk is Brigadier Tim Gregson MBE.