Duke set to visit county town

THE new Vestry block and other facilities built at Chelmsford Cathedral during the past year will be officially opened by the Duke of Kent this week.On Thursdayfollowing a service "Foundations and Futures" conducted by the Dean, the Very Revd Peter Judd at 11am.

THE new Vestry block and other facilities built at Chelmsford Cathedral during the past year will be officially opened by the Duke of Kent this week.

On Thursdayfollowing a service "Foundations and Futures" conducted by the Dean, the Very Revd Peter Judd at 11am. The Queen's cousin will be received by the Lord Lieutenant for Essex, Lord Petre.

A luncheon will be held at the Chapter House after a tour of the new block and His Royal Highness

will meet Freemasons at the Shire Hall in Chelmsford.


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The Appeal for development work at the Cathedral was opened in May 2000 and since then the sum of £1,300,000 has been raised including a grant of £413,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund; £230,000 from the Freemasons of Essex and £120,000 raised by members of the regular congregation.

A grant of £30,000 was made by the Essex Environment Trust for repairs to the East Window. Other work now completed includes a new sound and lighting system, toilets and kitchen facilities, general re-decoration and repairs to the roof and maintenance work.

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A special feature of the final phase of the development is the construction of the new learning centre in Guy Harlings, New Street, the diocesan offices, for visiting school parties.

The service is followed by the dedication of two new works of art, the 20ft Tree of Life painting by Mark Cazalet in the blocked window of the north transept and a new altar frontal depicting the life of Essex Saint Cedd, to mark the 1350th anniversary of the Christian faith in the county designed by Philip Sanderson and recently installed.

The Dean will present Colonel Sir Neil Thorne, Provincial Grand Master of Essex and Ms Jo Reilly of the Heritage Lottery Fund to the Duke before the unveiling of two plaques in the north transept to commemorate the work completed.

One plaque will recognise the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and another acknowledes the financial support for the Cathedral from the Freemasons of Essex.

A tour of the new Vestry block follows when the architects Mr Andrew Murdoch and Ms Annemarie Hunter will be presented to the Duke. He will then meet a number of Freemasons at the Shire Hall before luncheon with invited guests at the Chapter House, which the Duke opened on his last visit in 1990.

The Cathedral is the Mother Church of the diocese of Chelmsford which has more than 600 churches throughout Essex and five East London boroughs.

The 15th century building became a Cathedral 90 years' ago and is the smallest in England although serving the second largest diocese in England.

The Development Appeal was led by Mr Kevin Wall, seconded by Lloyds TSB.

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