A Golden Standard: How Chichester Cathedral is advocating for a fairer future

Posted
3rd Apr 2024
News category
Contemporary Issues

Nestled in the heart of Chichester, the Cathedral stands not only as a symbol of faith but also as a beacon of ethical responsibility. The Cathedral proudly embraces the global Fairtrade movement, championing ethical sourcing practices and fair treatment for workers.

In 2011, the Cathedral made history by becoming the first UK-based organisation to adorn a public building with Fairtrade gold. The iconic golden cockerel that crowns the Cathedral's soaring spire was meticulously coated with Fairtrade gold leaf. This pioneering initiative was a collaboration between the Cathedral and Cred, an ethical jeweller that was based in Chichester. The gold was responsibly sourced from the Sotrami Mine in Peru, in adherence to Fairtrade and Fairmined standards. These certifications ensure that miners receive fair wages and that mining practices are environmentally sustainable, contributing to the stability and prosperity of local communities.

At the time, former Dean of Chichester, the Very Reverend Nicholas Frayling, emphasised the significance of the project, highlighting the transformative impact of Fairtrade and Fairmined gold on impoverished mining communities across South America. By prioritising ethically sourced gold, the Cathedral hoped to exemplify a commitment to social justice and economic empowerment. The project's funding, generously provided by a private donor, underscores the Cathedral's dedication to advancing Fairtrade principles beyond its walls.

Victoria Sutton, Estates Co-ordinator, said: “As visitors gaze upon the golden cockerel atop our Cathedral’s spire, we hope that they are reminded not only of the Cathedral's rich history but also of our dedication to creating a brighter future for all.”

Fairtrade values are embedded into all areas of the Cathedral's life; every cup of coffee or tea served within the Cathedral after services or in Offices at meetings reflects a conscious decision to support farmers and workers worldwide. 2024 is Fairtrade's 30th birthday and the Cathedral will be celebrating with pop up Fairtrade cafés with homemade cakes at events throughout the year.  


Upcoming Events

Clothing Swap Shop | Saturday 4th May (9.00am – 12.00pm)

Vicars' Hall will be transformed into a second-hand clothing swap shop! Dive into your wardrobe and pick out a few items to bring along and discover some fabulous new things to take home. Everyone is welcome. A Fairtrade Café will be offering tea, coffee and cake. Bring along a travel mug and help us reduce, reuse and recycle. This is a partnership event with Transition Chichester. Born out of a passion for recycling and reusing and the love of finding a bargain, this simple idea is one of Transition Chichester’s big successes. 

Find out more


Rogation Sunday Service | Sunday 5th May

Rogation is an ancient church festival to seek blessing for a community and its sustenance. The word ‘rogation’ comes from the Latin verb ‘rogare’, meaning "to ask", which reflects the beseeching of God for protection from calamities. To mark this day, the Cathedral will welcome Guest Preacher Archdeacon Martin Williamson to its schedule of services on Sunday. 

Find out more

2 people climb the spire to install the new weathervane
close up of the weathervane coated with Fairtrade gold leaf
the cockerel weathervane coated with Fairtrade gold leaf
the cockerel weathervane coated with Fairtrade gold leaf seen with the cathedral's spire above
Posted
3rd Apr 2024
News category
Contemporary Issues