A fresco largely funded by Freemasons has been dedicated at Rochester Cathedral to the people of Kent.
Charles Marchant reports.
PGMs William Bryen (left) of West
Kent and John Bonomy, East Kent,
in front of the fresco
Crowds throng in front of the
A window on the world
Few places can claim a continuous history going back 1,400
years – but Rochester Cathedral can – and on Thursday, 24
June, a special service was held in the Cathedral to celebrate
its foundation by Bishop Justus in 604AD.
As part of the celebration a magnificent fresco, largely
funded by the Freemasons of Kent as a millennium gift, was
dedicated. It will form a magnificent backdrop to the new
Baptistery being set up in the north nave transept.
The special service was lead by the Acting Dean, Canon
Jonathan Meyrick, supported by the Bishop of Tonbridge,
Rt. Rev. Dr. Brian Castle, the College of Canons, the
Honorary Priest Vicars and other clergy from the Diocese
and included a specially commissioned anthem by John
Taverner. The Acting Dean, on behalf of the Chapter,
expressed their gratitude for the generous gift.
The packed congregation was headed by the Lord
Lieutenant of the County of Kent, Allen Willett, and
included the Vice-Chairman of Kent County Council,
Cllr F. Gibson, and several mayors from the county.
The Freemasons of Kent were represented by RW Bro
William Bryen, Provincial Grand Master for West Kent
and RW Bro John Bonomy, Provincial Grand Master for
East Kent, together with members of the two Provincial
Executives and many individual Freemasons.
At a second service three days later on Sunday 27th June,
several hundred Kent Masons, their families and friends,
packed the cathedral, and led by the two Provincial Grand
Masters, united in a Service of Thanksgiving. The Very
Reverend Edward Shotter, Dean Emeritus of Rochester,
preached the sermon.
It was he who had first proposed the fresco as part of the
cathedral’s new Baptistery in the north nave transept, a spot
where pilgrims have entered the building for centuries and
where it will have maximum impact.
In his sermon, Dean Shotter said that in an age where
visual images play such an important part in our lives, the
fresco will be a powerful way of communicating the message
for a renewal of faith.