The Home of Rolls-Royce played host to a spectacular evening of music and conversation on Saturday 11 May 2019, raising crucial funds for the Cathedral High Roofs Project.
The Cathedral roof is of national historic importance. A five yearly inspection revealed that despite ongoing repairs, the copper roof covering is failing, damaging the medieval timber roof structure, masonry and ceiling plasterwork. Work is underway to replace the copper roof with lead – estimated at £5.8 million – and as the Cathedral is entirely self-supporting, it relies wholly on donations and fundraising activity to fund the project.
Attended by 150 patrons and supporters, the event included an interview with Rachel Portman OBE, one of Britain’s most celebrated and prolific composers of film music. Her numerous credits include Emma, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, for which she won an Oscar in 1996, and her Academy Award-nominated scores for Chocolat and The Cider House Rules. Interviewed by Cathedral Trustee Julian Biggs, Rachel gave guests a fascinating insight into her life, work and inspiration. A highlight of the evening was a live performance of Rachel’s choral work from the Cathedral Choir, under Organist and Master of the Choristers, Charles Harrison.
The evening concluded with a silent auction: continuing the Hollywood theme, participants submitted their donations in gold envelopes mimicking those used at the Oscars ceremony. Rolls Royce supported the fundraising efforts by donating a truly unique lot, with the highest bidder enjoying a chauffeured Phantom ride and VIP tour of the Home of Rolls-Royce.
Andrew Ball, Global Corporate Communications Manager, said, “Chichester is our ‘local’ Cathedral and a familiar landmark for everyone who works at the Home of Rolls-Royce, so we were delighted to have this opportunity to support the Roof Appeal.”
Victoria Gregory, Fundraising Manager at the Cathedral, commented “Rolls-Royce kindly hosted this event for us: we were thrilled by their generosity and the generosity of our donors who came on the evening and helped us to raise £10,000.”