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The Friends of Chichester Cathedral Celebrate 70 years...

Picture: Friends 70th Anniversary Celebrations
Friends 70th Anniversary Celebrations

A wonderful weekend was enjoyed by the Friends of Chichester Cathedral as they celebrated their 70th Anniversary this June (19th - 21st).  The Friends, now with over 1500 members, was founded in 1939, in the time of Chichester's famous Bishop George Bell.

Bell had previously set up the Friends of Canterbury Cathedral during his time as Dean there, and because of this connection the present Dean of Canterbury, Robert Willis, spoke at the Friends' AGM on the Friday - the first of the celebratory events.

This was followed by a Desert Island Music evening with special guest Peter Atkinson the Dean of Worcester, who was until recently Canon Chancellor here in Chichester.

On Saturday the celebrations included a Eucharist service at noon, followed by lunch in a marquee in the Cathedral grounds, where the Friends were joined by Bishop John Hind and his wife.

During the evening 'Close Company' performed for the Friends, 'Close Company' being the six men of Chichester Cathedral choir who rounded off their performance with a resounding rendition of a Beach Boys hit.

The weekend was completed on Sunday morning with a special Eucharis service, attended by some three hundred people.

Ruth Poyner, Cathedral Spokeswoman said: "The Cathedral is incredibly fortunate to have such a large and committed group of Friends.  Not only do they raise a lot of money in support of the Cathedral but they add much to its vitality too, with many social events throughout the year." 

A History of the Friends of Chichester Cathedral booklet, by Anne Blakeney, was launched over the weekend and is available to purchase at the Cathedral Reception for £1.50.

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