We must not let this place fall silent.
Music is our single largest expense but we cannot sustain or develop it further if we don't take action now. It costs £220,000 each year to ensure the continuity of Rochester's choral tradition, so we have established a Music Endowment to ensure that music will continue to ring out from within these walls far into the future.
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"."