Whilst The Friends of Rochester Cathedral exists to raise money for the repair and restoration of the Cathedral, as a diverse and friendly community of people, we also have a calendar of social activities throughout the year.
Social activities programme 2015 - 2016
Candlelit Musical Pilgrimage of the Cathedral's History with Supper 3rd March 2016. This event is open to members and non members alike, and includes a series of stops at points of historical interest around the Cathedral where a Cathedral Guide will speak, followed by music and singing by a choir relating to that particular period of history. A short Organ recital will end the tour followed by a Light Supper with drinks. Tickets are limited to 50 on a first come basis. The cost is £37.50 per person inluding the SUPPER with WINE and TEA or COFFEE.
Please contact The Friends Office on 01634 832142 for further details and ticket arrangements.
An All inclusive visit to Faversham and Belmont House, Tuesday 12th April 2016. Departing by coach from Rochester at 9.00am, we arrive at Faversham at 9.45 to be met by Peter Lock to guide us around the town, where we will also have a coffee stop, and escort us if time permits to the former gunpowder factory. We then travel to Brogdale for lunch and in the afternoon drive to Belmont House for a guided tour and tea. We aim to return to Rochester at 6.00pm. The inclusive cost per person is £35. Please contact The Friends Office on 01634 832142 for ticket arrangements.
Music for a Summer's Evening: A concert of Light and Classical Music at Rochester Cathedral on Saturday 23rd July 2016. Doors open 7pm for concert at 7.30pm. A light refreshment and drink during the interval is included in the Ticket Price of £10 (£8 for Friends). Please contact The Friends Office on 01634 832142 for further details and ticket arrangements.
Visit to Allington Castle 19th July 2016 for a Garden and House Tour. Transport on this occasion is not provided and we are restricted to 50 persons only. The cost of £19.50 does include refreshments. Please contact The Friends Office on 01634 832142 for further details and ticket arrangements.
Our recent activities
Click on the pictures below for larger images of some recent highlights.
Our first visit for 2015 was a day trip to Denbies Wine Estate in March. Located just outside Dorking the vineyard's terroir has been planned and grown similarly to that of the Champagne region of France. Here we saw the vineyards planted with some 28 varieties of grape; the later ripening varieties being hand picked. In 2014 the latest pickings took place on November 19th.
After an entertaining and informative "train" ride through the estate we returned to an audiovisual presentation and subsequent wine tasting in the cellars. A superb lunch was served and after purchasing local produce, souvenirs and of course, wine our party of 43 returned to Rochester. An enjoyable trip for all.
Friday 13th March: Cathedral Friends were treated to a Crypt Archaeology Tour to review the progress made and see the difficulties being faced by the team.
Tuesday 19th May - Friday 22nd May - Residential visit to Hereford, with visits to the American Museum in Bath, Stokesay Castle, a full day in Hereford, including the Cathedral, Malmesbury and Chavenage Manor House.
After an uneventful journey we arrived at the American Museum in Bath. The museum traces the history of North America from its native roots through early settlers to present day. It is housed in a beautiful mansion over looking the city and members enjoyed a superb lunch here.
Arriving in Hereford some two hours later , we made base in our hotel and after a pre dinner drink and a superb dinner , all retired for the night.
The next day saw us visit Stokesay Castle, an incredible example of a fortified Manor House. From there we visited Dunkertons cider mill for a light lunch and we then returned to Hereford through the countryside.
Day three, in the morning, the Chairman and a very small group, visited Belmont Priory, a Benedictine monastery and the home of the Prior of Rochester. Unfortunately the whole group could not visit as the prior, Father Luke, is frail and the monastery not large enough to take us all.
For the rest of the day we were guests of the Friends of Hereford Cathedral. They entertained us "right royally" , covering our every need. Tours of the cathedral , the beautiful gardens, lunch, Mappa, Mundi together with the chain library and Magna Carta and then completed with afternoon tea and Evensong were all included.
We were finally waved goodbye by the Secretary of the Friends, Mrs June Chase. A day to remember for a very long time.
Our final day having left the hotel and we stopped briefly for coffee and visited Malmesbury Abbey and then called into Chavenage Manor. This is still a family home and the family took us around their beautiful home explaining all its history and then entertained us to afternoon tea . A definite highlight of the tour.
We arrived back in Rochester at the end of a very busy and enjoyable four days.
Saturday 5th September saw the Friends on a wonderful coach trip visit to Ely Cathedral. Details available soon.
On the 5th November Jacob Scott gave an enjoyable, informative and entertaining talk on his 3D Imaging Projects in respect of the Architectural elements of the Cathedral, the Castle and the Synagogue to an audience of 80 in the King's School Hall.
Wednesday 2nd December: Advent Lunch This year the Advent Lunch was held at the Rivers restaurant at Upchurch Golf Club. There was an excellent take up for tickets, namely 79. The guest speaker this year was Father John Thackeray, the recently retired school chaplain at the King's School. Father John has now returned to parish life in Ipswich. We are therefore most grateful to him for taking the time out to return to Kent for us. He spoke about School life and the strong link between the School and Cathedral and was well received .The caterers produced an exceptionally fine meal and our thanks go to them.
Thanks to all who supported the event.
Learn Some Old English from Textus Roffensis
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New Dean for Rochester Cathedral
The Reverend Canon Dr Philip John Hesketh BD, AKC, PhD, Canon at Rochester Cathedral is the new Dean of Rochester Cathedral. He said, “I feel it is an enormous privilage...