The Spectacular Festival of Flowers
If you’ve visited Chichester Cathedral before, you’ll know that feeling of tranquillity and peace created by the expanse of the nave and the high reaching ceilings that tower up towards the heavens at the central crossing. It has a coolness that feels like early morning in spring and the acoustics create a magical tone that tells you that you’re somewhere very special. Can it get any better than this? Hold that thought.
Yesterday the Festival of Flowers 2018 was unveiled, a biennial event in which Chichester Cathedral is transformed into a paradise of rich colour and sweet perfume that hits you as soon as you enter. The cool calmness of the Cathedral is the perfect environment for the display and the various chapels, facades and transepts create perfect stages for the varying themes delivered by a range of florists from the local area, award winning floral sculptors and also local communities with a display of the winners from its Schools Art competition. The impact is incredible; floral displays reach from the floor up to the ceiling with stunning hanging creations that feel totally at home against the beautiful architecture.
The event was officially launched Wednesday evening by its patron, Emma Bridgewater, the British designer and business woman whose distinctive ceramics have a world-wide following. A keen lover of horticulture, Emma said: ‘I don’t think I could possibly do justice by describing it. The theme is ‘This Earthly Paradise’ and what could be more fitting. There is just something completely wonderful for everybody – the spectacle of it is so moving, so delicious – it is a huge treat to see the Cathedral wearing a different set of clothes, looking marvellously transformed. You absolutely have to come and see this phenomenal spectacle.’
There’s something for everyone with both elegant, structural displays and fun presentations that tell a story or depict a sub theme of ‘This Earthly Paradise’. In true Cathedral style, their hospitality is impeccable. The knowledgeable guides are on hand to answer any questions and the event is supported by catering teams, flower stalls and an under-cover market with things to browse and buy. The Cathedral’s wonderful Cloisters Café is also open, as well as offering special Festival of Flowers Sparkling Afternoon Teas at the stunning venue, 4 Canon Lane (please book in advance).
Tickets for the Festival are on sale from: www.chichestercathedral.org.uk and the money raised will contribute to the specialist restoration of the Cathedral. The Cathedral’s Ruth Poyner, Head of Communications, Marketing and Visitors Services, explains: ‘Over the years, the Festival of Flowers has raised much needed funds towards the essential restoration of the Cathedral. All funds raised this year will support the re-covering of the Cathedral’s unique medieval roof, a major project estimated at £5.8 million. So we are incredibly grateful to the thousands of people that come to experience this wonderful Festival. Without doubt, they are helping to conserve this building for future generations.’
Don’t miss it!