Dean of Windsor to be Appeal Patron
The strenuous efforts just embarked upon to secure the fifteen hundred year old musical tradition of Ireland's Premier Church received further encouragement today with the announcement that the Dean of Windsor, Bishop David Conner, has accepted an invitation to become Patron of the Appeal.
Writing to the Appeal Committee the Dean made it clear that in spite of his heavy commitments he thought the cause of sufficient merit and urgency to lead his name and support: 'I am genuinely flattered to have been asked.'
Welcoming the news the Chairman of the Appeal, Canon Donald Gray CBE, formerly Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, described the Patron as one of the most distinguished Churchmen of the age whose devotion to the liturgical, musical and spiritual treasury of the Anglican tradition, and her place in Catholic Christendom, as second to none.
His support added to that of the Oundle International Music Festival, the Chapters of Westminster, Derry, St. Patrick's Cathedral Dublin; and the encouragement of the Archbishop of York demonstrated that the future of the Choral Foundation of Armagh Cathedral is a matter of concern well beyond the confines of the Hill of Armagh.
At the moment Mrs Jo Bickle 64, a chorister at St Peter's Shaldon, Devon is have way through her 1000 mile walking pilgrimage from Le Puy to Compostella in aid of the appeal, having just crossed the Pyrenees. To date she has raised £1,500. Concerts in aid of the Appeal are being organised in Oundle, London, Windsor, York, Dublin and Armagh. The response of other musicians and cathedrals to this the poorest endowed establishment maintaining a cathedral choir in these island is, says Donald Gray, both humbling and inspiring. Clearly for the Cathedrals if Charity begins of necessity at home it does not stay there.
The Administrator of the Appeal, Michael Thompson, is himself a former member of the Armagh Choir.
Appeal Office: The Rectory, Pinfold Lane, St Martin's, STAMFORD, PE9 2LS, UK is happy to provide full details of the Appeal which seeks to raise over £500,000.