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Chichester Cathedral Festival of Flowers 2016 Designer's Theme, Celebrity Patron and Festival Flower Revealed (posted 9 June 2016)

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Chichester Cathedral Festival of Flowers 2016 - Designer's Theme, Celebrity Patron and Festival Flower Revealed...

Festival of Flowers 2014
Festival of Flowers 2014

Today (9th June), Chichester Cathedral began preparations for its Festival of Flowers 2016 with three important announcements.  The Cathedral hosted a celebratory champagne afternoon tea attended by Flower Arrangers and VIPs from across the county who discovered the theme of the Festival, the celebrity Festival Patron, and the newly developed Festival Flower for the first time. 

The Festival Designer, Mrs Christine Evans, revealed the theme of the Festival as: 'The Artist's Palette'.  Chichester Cathedral is particularly famous for its historic, and modern, artworks and over 240 Flower Arrangers across Sussex had been anticipating the announcement which will inspire over 80 floral arrangements, as the arrangers interpret the theme to sensational effect.  The theme will reflect artists represented in the Cathedral, local Sussex artists and other well-known artists.

Mr Tim Wonnacott, Television Presenter (Bargain Hunt, Antiques Roadshow...) and Fine Arts expert, was announced as the Patron of the 2016 Festival of Flowers.  Local man Tim is delighted to be taking up the role, explaining: 'Having lived and worked in Sussex for many years, Chichester Cathedral is a very special place to me and my family.  I am very excited about the theme for the Festival of Flowers and look forward with interest to seeing the designs'.

Chichester Cathedral's Festival of Flowers is renowned for innovation with new varieties of plants and flowers developed to celebrate each Festival.  David and Emma James from Allwoods Nursery (featured on the Great Garden Revival, broadcast by the BBC earlier this year) also attended the launch and revealed the 2016 Festival Flower as the specially developed: 'Heaven Scent', a scented pink.  Heaven Scent joins a modern revival in British grown flowers; the Allwoods explain: 'Pinks are the quintessential British flower: graceful, highly fragrant, hardy, versatile and ideal to pick'.  Allwoods Nursery in Sussex became the world's leading Dianthus specialist in the early 1900s and has a unique collection with some heritage specimens used since the 1500s.  In the past there have been new varieties of roses, irises and sweet peas associated with Chichester Cathedral's Festival of Flowers.

Mr Tim Wonnacott, TV Presenter
Mr Tim Wonnacott, TV Presenter
Heaven Scent
Heaven Scent

Chichester Cathedral's Festival of Flowers is a biennial event organised by Chichester Cathedral Restoration and Development Trust.  This is the highest revenue earning event in the Trust's portfolio raising vital funds for the restoration of Chichester's 900-year-old Cathedral.  The Festival attracts 15,000 visitors and has raised approximately £1million towards the cost of restoration work at Chichester Cathedral over the past twenty years.

The Festival of Flowers 2016 will be a three day spectacular: visitors will experience the beauty of Chichester Cathedral adorned with flowers and trees, a programme of live music, a Festival Market, Plant Market and Café des Fleurs.  The Festival of Flowers will take place from 1st - 4th June 2016 (1st June Champagne Preview).  Tickets will go on sale in autumn 2015.

Further Information:

Previous Festival themes have included: The Music Makers, Every Book Tells a Story and Poetry in Paradise.  Previous Patrons include: Charlie Dimmock, Paula Pryke, Peter Seabrook and Patricia Routledge CBE.

Tim Wonnacott worked for Sotherby's for some 25 years, he first started appearing regularly on television in the early 1990's on the BBC Antiques Roadshow, subequently appearing on a number of BBC antiques shows including The Great Antique Hunt, Going Going Gone and The Antiques Show.  In January 2003, Tim took over as presenter of the BBC 1 programme Bargain Hunt and to date Tim has presented nearly 1200 programmes with  a further 100 programmes commissioned for 2015.  Bargain Hunt's loyal audience has grown over the years and the show is currently the highest rated T.V. programme on any channel in the UK, with the exception of the news.  Bargain Hunt is shown every day outside the UK in 30 countries.

Over 70 stunning arrangements are produced by volunteer flower arrangers using in excess of 50,000 flowers to interpret the designer's chosen theme.  More than 570 volunteers are involved, including Flower Arrangers, Community Groups and individuals across the Diocese of Chichester working together providing flower arrangements, visitor information, refreshments and more to make the Festival of Flowers a successful and enjoyable event.  Over 7,500 volunteer hours are donated during the week of the Festival (this figure increases enormously when the time devoted by flower arrangers to planning their arrangements is included).

New varieties of plants and flowers are introduced marking each Festival: St. Richard of Chichester rose, Cathedrale de Chichester Iris, George Bell Hosta.

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