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.
Holocaust Memorial Day
This is an annual commemoration and here in the Medway Towns it is hosted in turn at three different venues: Chatham Memorial Synagogue, Mid Kent College and here at the Cathedral. It is our turn to host it this year.
The event itself will be on Thursday 26th January 5.00pm – 7.30pm when we will welcome a number of schools and other Medway organisations. The Dean and the Bishop will be with us for the evening.
There will also be an exhibition in the Cathedral to run for the week prior to the event.
BBC Antiques Series Flog It comes to Rochester Cathedral
Flog It, the popular BBC One antiques programme presented by Paul Martin, is set to visit Rochester in the new year on Wednesday 25th January 2017. Flog It recently filmed its 1000th episode and the 16th series is currently being recorded. The show regularly achieves an audience of over two million viewers in its weekday afternoon slot.
Rochester Cathedral will be hosting the Flog It valuation day. Members of the public are invited to visit the Cathedral with up to three antiques or collectables they might be interested in selling. Once valued the owner and a team of experts decide whether an object is filmed and gets sent to Hop Farm Auctions in Paddock Wood for inclusion in their sale on Wednesday 15th February.
Everyone who goes along to the valuation day will receive a free appraisal of their items – even if their antiques are not chosen for filming and to go forward for auction.
Flog It has made many significant finds over its sixteen series, including in North Lincolnshire a rare Aboriginal Broad Shield that had been kept hidden away in a viewer’s wardrobe which was brought along to a valuation day, it went on to sell at auction for £30,000! Flog It experts also discovered an unusual Royal Doulton Spook figurine in Blackpool which had been bought at a car boot sale for £2; it went on to sell at auction for £5000.
The Very Reverend Dr Philip Hesketh AKC, Dean of Rochester, said “I’m delighted Flog It! want to come to Rochester Cathedral. Rochester is a truly unique and historic place and the Cathedral, at its heart, is a wonderful space to bring people together.”
Paul Martin, presenter of Flog It said “I’m really pleased to be bringing the show back to Rochester; our last visit was ten years ago when the valuation day was held at the Corn Exchange. I’m looking forward to filming at the Cathedral and hope as many people as possible will come along for a free valuation.”
The BBC will be making four editions of the show featuring Rochester Cathedral and they will be transmitted within eighteen months of recording. Paul Martin will be joined at the valuation day by on screen experts Raj Bisram, Adam Partridge and Elizabeth Talbot.
BBC Flog It will be at Rochester Cathedral, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1SX between 9.30am and 4.00pm on Wednesday 25th January 2017. The items selected for filming at the valuation day will go under the hammer at Hop Farm Auctions on Wednesday 15th February.