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
(All details will be in the Autumn Newsletter)
Saturday 5th September - full day visit to Ely. Details are available from the Friends' Office.
Wednesday 2nd December: Advent Lunch at Rivers Restaurant Upchurch Golf Club
Visit to Belmont House and Faversham 12th April 2016
A 4 day visit to Ypres and Ghent 18 to 21st May 2016
Visit to Allington Castle 19th July 2016
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.