Countess of Wessex at Mercers' Hall Reception
left to right: Johnny Robertson (Master Mercer) Philip Hesketh (Dean of Rochester) HRH The Countess of Wessex, Mike Aiken (Rochester Cathedral Trust Chairman)
On Tuesday 22nd February the Dean of Rochester, The Very Revd Dr Philip Hesketh, and the Chairman of Rochester Cathedral Trust, Mr Michael P Aiken MBE, welcomed their Royal Patron, Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex GCVO to a Reception which was hosted with the generous support of the Mercers’ Company at their Hall in Ironmonger Lane, London.
The reception was part of an ongoing series of fund raising events being held by The Cathedral Trust to develop new relationships with potential donors based in London.
The Cathedral’s new “Children’s Community Choir” was there to entertain the Countess and the guests and charmed everyone with their delightful singing. They were conducted by Claire Innes-Hopkins and accompanied by Cathedral Director of Music, Mr Scott Farrell. This new Choir is part of the Cathedral's outreach work to give the opportunity to any child in Medway who loves to sing to be able to join the Choir.
The guests were also entertained with a speech from Vice Patron, Dr David Starkey CBE, who amused all with his historical anecdotes yet still conveyed the need of Rochester Cathedral to those present.
Rochester Cathedral Trust is setting up a Music Endowment Fund so that the earnings accrued from it can ultimately pay the running costs of the ancient music tradition in the Cathedral, which costs £225,000 annually. The short term goal is to achieve an amount of £2 million which will be met by having each Chorister sponsored at £50,000 each. This money would be deposited in the Endowment Fund and the earnings accrued on it would be put towards the annual costs and the Endowment could remain intact in perpetuity. Each Choristership sponsor has a silver medal struck in their name the selected Chorister wears it at all services for the course of their life in the Choir. When they leave a new probationer is selected.
2017 Fundraising Concerts
The first one is The Lithuania event which will take place here at Rochester Cathedral on Saturday 11th March 2017 at 12 noon until 1.30pm. This concert is to celebrate Lithuanian Independence Day and we are delighted that the concert will be attended by The Lithuanian Ambassador to the UK, Her Excellency Asta Skaisgiryte.
We are very pleased to be able to present soprano Lina Dambrauskaite, baritone Romanas Kudriasovas accompanied by pianist Marija Struckova.
This concert is free of charge and we look forward to seeing you.
Our last fund raising concert for the year will be a performance by the Kent Police Male Voice Choir and this concert will be on Wednesday 8th November.
Tickets for all of the above will be available from email@example.com or telephone 01634 810074
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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.
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Cathedral closures in Nov & Dec
Please be advised that the Cathedral will be closed to visitors for all / periods of the day on the following dates in November and December 2017: Wednesday 22 November...