MBE for Chairman Mike AikenRochester Cathedral Trust congratulate our chairman Michael P Aiken on being awarded an MBE in her Majesty the Queen's birthday honours this year. This has been awarded for services to National Heritage.
HRH the Countess of WessexWe are delighted to announce that HRH the Countess of Wessex has very kindly agreed to be Patron of The Rochester Cathedral Trust.
"Sophie, Countess of Wessex will do her bit to keep Rochester Cathedral standing. The Queen's daughter-in-law has become a Patron of The Rochester Cathedral Trust after a private tour last week.
The Charity was founded in 1985 and looks after the structure of the 900-year-old cathedral building, which is due its first major review in five years this summer. She will also be involved in a campaign to raise £10 million to help music in the cathedral, which includes encouraging gifted young people to join The Cathedral Choir who would not otherwise be able to. This in recognition that the Cathedral is in a socially diverse area and that a Choir School education gives a young person the best possible start in life.
The Dean of Rochester, The Very Revd Dr Mark Beach, said: "It's widening the net certainly." He added “The Countess will be a kind of figurehead for the fundraising for the cathedral, and in particular at the moment that’s about raising money for the music endowment.
“It’s about raising the profile of the cathedral. With a royal patron you can invite people to events with the additional draw that they might meet a member of the royal family.”
The 48-year-old royal, who is married to the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward, was brought up and educated near Tunbridge Wells.
Dr Beach said: “She was fascinated by what’s going on in the building and was particularly interested because we’re a relatively small cathedral with relatively poor resources in an economically varied area.
“She felt her contribution might be more important perhaps than working with a larger cathedral in a more affluent area"."
Englands Great CathedralsFor more information on English Cathedrals please visit www.englishcathedrals.co.uk
Help restore zero VAT
The Acting Dean of Rochester, Canon Dr Philip Hesketh, has asked that you please support this petition to bring back zero rate VAT on alterations to listed Churches. Please click on the link below and sign the petition, it will make such a difference.
We the undersigned urge the Chancellor to reconsider the extension of the standard rate of VAT (currently zero rated) to alternations to listed places of worship. This will have the effect of penalising the Church of England's 12,500 listed cathedral and church buildings, almost entirely maintained by volunteers and voluntary giving, who are currently altering their buildings to make them suitable for use by the wider community. The extra cost this will impose will seriously threaten the continuation of such works. Extending the remit of the Listed Places of Worship Grants Scheme, with no additional funding, will go no way to mitigating this. It merely means a shrinking pot will be stretched even further.