Chichester Festival of Flowers preparations starting to bloom

Councillor Elizabeth Hamilton and Robin Hamilton. Pictures by Graham Franks
Councillor Elizabeth Hamilton and Robin Hamilton. Pictures by Graham Franks

Preparations for Chichester Cathedral’s spectacular Festival of Flowers have taken root.

The Dean of Chichester, the Very Revd Stephen Waine, welcomed 160 guests from across Sussex to a fundraising dinner in the Nave of Chichester Cathedral on Wednesday, October 11.

Hilary and David Tupper. Hilary is chairman of Festival of Flowers

Hilary and David Tupper. Hilary is chairman of Festival of Flowers

The dinner launched sponsorship for the Cathedral’s biennial Festival of Flowers, planned for 2018.

Guests including the Duchess of Richmond, the High Sheriff of West Sussex, Lady Emma Barnard and Lady Helen Broughton.

The famous British Designer and businesswoman, Emma Bridgewater, also attended the event as patron of the 2018 Festival.

Emma said: “I feel a keen sense of anticipation already for that moment when you step into Chichester Cathedral to find it mystically transformed with the scent, colour and beauty of 50,000 flowers.”

The 2014 Festival of Flowers at Chichester Cathedral

The 2014 Festival of Flowers at Chichester Cathedral

Emptied of usual furniture, the breath-taking architecture of Chichester’s Nave, Chapels, Aisles, Tombs and Transepts will be uniquely revealed adorned with flowers.

This glittering evening is thought to be the first fundraising dinner – actually held in the Cathedral Nave - for many centuries.

Details of the 80 arrangements which will interpret the Festival theme ‘This Earthly Paradise’, some as large as 20ft long and 12ft high, were shared with guests.

Festival Designer, Jose Morum-Pound, explained how the exciting designs will celebrate plant hunting, botany, horticulture and conservation, celebrating the plants which gave the continents their unique identity.

Ali George, Mark Powell, Chichester Cathedral Restoration and Development Trust, Sarah and Ian Buckley

Ali George, Mark Powell, Chichester Cathedral Restoration and Development Trust, Sarah and Ian Buckley

Chichester Cathedral’s Festival of Flowers is organised by Chichester Cathedral Restoration & Development Trust, attracting 15,000 visitors and has raised approximately £1million towards the cost of restoration work at Chichester Cathedral over the past 20 years.

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Jose Pound, festival designer and Kay Mowlam, Design Team.

Jose Pound, festival designer and Kay Mowlam, Design Team.

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Lizzie Waine and Emma Bridgewater, patron of 2018 Festival of Flowers

Lizzie Waine and Emma Bridgewater, patron of 2018 Festival of Flowers

Georgie Grout Smith, Duchess of Richmond and Lady Emma Barnard

Georgie Grout Smith, Duchess of Richmond and Lady Emma Barnard