Rolls Royce in Chichester holds fundraiser in aid of cathedral roof appeal

The Chichester cathedral choir
The Chichester cathedral choir

An evening of music and conversation was held at the Rolls Royce headquarters to raise crucial funds towards the Chichester Cathedral Roof Appeal.

Around 150 patrons and supporters attended the ticket-only event which began with an interview with Rachel Portman OBE.

Julian Biggs, Chichester Cathedral Trustee, and Rachel Portman OBE

Julian Biggs, Chichester Cathedral Trustee, and Rachel Portman OBE

One of Britain’s most celebrated and prolific composers of film music, Rachel’s credits include Academy Award-nominated scores for Chocolat and The Cider House Rules.

In an interview with Julian Biggs, Chichester Cathedral Trustee, Rachel gave guests a fascinating insight into her life, work and inspiration, and the challenges and rewards of a vital, but often overlooked, aspect of film-making.

A highlight of the evening was a live performance of Rachel’s choral work from the Chichester Cathedral Choir, under Organist and Master of the Choristers, Charles Harrison.

The evening concluded with a silent auction.

The choir under Organist and Master of the Choristers, Charles Harrison

The choir under Organist and Master of the Choristers, Charles Harrison

The highest bidder for a lot donated by Rolls Royce secured a chauffeured Phantom ride and VIP tour of the Home of Rolls-Royce.

The evening raised crucial funds for the restoration and re-covering of the Chichester Cathedral High Roofs.

Andrew Ball, Head of Corporate Relations, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, 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.

“Chichester Cathedral represents the apex of art, design, technology and craft of its age.

“This perfectly matches our philosophy and ambitions as a company, which is to build beautiful, spectacular motor cars that stand the test of time.

“The master craftspeople we employ at Goodwood today are the successors of those who raised the Cathedral over nine centuries ago.”

Dating from the 13th Century, the cathedral’s high roofs are a rare example of an original medieval timber roof, which have national architectural importance.

Despite constant repairs and maintenance, failures in the copper covering have allowed rainwater to penetrate the roof vault, damaging the timber, masonry and ceiling plasterwork.

A full restoration, which is scheduled to last five years and cost around £6 million, is now underway.

All of the funds must come through donations and self-generated income, since the Cathedral receives no automatic statutory support.

The first phase of the works are now complete – read more about the work here.

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