Stunning displays as Chichester Cathedral’s Festival of Flowers is unveiled

A MIRACLE of colour has been created this week within Chichester Cathedral – and now goes on display to the waiting thousands.

Cathedral’s Festival of Flowers will be unveiled to the public today and runs until Saturday at 6pm.

C140559-4 Chi Festival of Flowers. Preparations underway.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C140559-4 SUS-140527-204441001

C140559-4 Chi Festival of Flowers. Preparations underway.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C140559-4 SUS-140527-204441001

Visitors are expected from around the world for what has been dubbed the ‘gold standard’ of flower festivals, an event held every other year and now in its tenth edition.

Chichester’s 900-year-old cathedral has been transformed with more than 90 stunning arrangements, all following this year’s theme, The Music Makers, with Jose Morum-Pound the designer.

A dazzling array of imaginative and beautiful flower designs will interpret 12 centuries of music: from pop to plainsong, classics to jazz, sacred to secular, all in aid of the Chichester Cathedral Restoration and Development Trust.

This year more than 500 volunteers – including 250 accomplished flower-arrangers – will present a spectacular event specially devised for the event’s tenth anniversary.

Once in the cathedral, visitors will immediately enjoy an explosion of colour in the nave, recreating Joseph’s Technicolor Dreamcoat including the actual Dreamcoat worn by Jason Donovan in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s highly-successful West End musical. The earliest music to be featured in the festival was composed at the same time Chichester Cathedral was dedicated in the 12th century: a piece named Sanctus Spiritus, written by the female saint and mystic, Hildegard of Bingen.

The most contemporary piece is a mini-opera The Sweeper of Dreams written by Alma Deutscher, who was only eight years old when she composed the piece in 2012.

In honour of this year’s tenth anniversary, an iris has been especially grown by Richard Cayeux of Gien. The iris, named Cathédrale de Chichester, was launched at the Chelsea Flower Show last week and now comes to Chichester to be displayed at the festival.

Gardening expert and TV presenter Charlie Dimmock is patron for the 2014 festival and sculptor Philip Jackson will be exhibiting.

Tickets on www.chichestercathedral.org.uk by telephone 01243 813595 or in person at the cathedral.

The event is open from 10am-7pm on Thursday and Friday and from 10am-6pm on Saturday.