The Dean of Chichester, The Very Reverend Stephen Waine will welcome 200 livery men and women from across Sussex to the Cathedral for a very special Thanksgiving Service on Saturday 23 November. The service will be a unique gathering of the livery companies outside of London and will give thanks for their work in the Sussex region.
Livery companies have existed for hundreds of years and are part of the City of London’s colorful pageantry. Philanthropy is, and always has been, a central activity for the Livery. They started out by developing trading standards, training tradespeople and helping workers who’d fallen on hard times. Today, the companies are united by a shared desire to help people, particularly those who are vulnerable and struggling.
There are many examples of the extent, breadth and diversity of the charitable support from the livery companies here in Sussex including Rustington Convalescent Home; the South of England Show at Ardingly; exhibitions at Amberly Museum; Riding for the Disabled and Cricket Camp at Arundel Castle. The Cathedral is particularly grateful to have received funding towards the conservation of the Piper Tapestry. The tapestry, set behind the High Altar, is a vibrant focal point drawing the gaze of visitors as soon as they enter the Cathedral. Commissioned by Dean Hussey, the tapestry was installed in 1966 and is by the British artist John Piper. It consists of seven panels, each 1 metre wide and 5 metres high. Using bold colours and striking imagery the central subject is the Holy Trinity, to which the Cathedral is dedicated.
The Very Reverend Stephen Waine, who is himself a member of the Merchant Taylors’ Company commented, “It will be a great honour to welcome so many members of livery companies living in Sussex. The Cathedral and our community across the Diocese of Chichester, which spans East and West Sussex, is enormously grateful for the support of the livery companies, many of whom give quietly without expecting any recognition”.
Following the service of choral evensong guests will enjoy a drinks reception in the Nave. There will also be a chance to explore the Cathedral and in particular find out more about the current £5.8m fundraising initiative to replace the failing copper roof with lead, a project which will enter its final phase next year.