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Visit to Chichester Cathedral
and Uppark

Thursday 8th July 2010

Thirty-two of us set off for Chichester Cathedral in a sub-contracted bus with a delightful driver who had had no instructions as to the route to take or where to park! Luckily, our Chairman soon sorted out the route and we were dropped very near the Cathedral with plenty of time to have a leisurely coffee in the gardens of the Cathedral coffee shop.

We then divided into two groups, each with a guide. Unfortunately our guide had a very quiet voice which he could not project at all over all the banging of workmen and an organist playing as the Cathedral was prepared for the Chichester Festival. Evidently the other group had a superb guide - the luck of the draw. We saw some of the most interesting artefacts of the church such as the 12th century of the Raising of Lazarus which was only discovered in 1829. and the restored Lady Chapel with its 12th century roof beams in the original red, white and blue.

We had time to study the two huge modern tapestries (not to my taste) - one behind the high altar by John Piper dated 1966 and a German one dated 1985 behind the John Piper one as a backdrop to the shrine of St Richard of Chichester, which complements the red colours of the 1978 Chagall window.

We then returned to the coach bound for lunch and tours of the house and gardens of Uppark which we reached via a diversion through some really beautiful West Sussex countryside and small hamlets.

I can now only speak for myself as we all toured the house and gardens at our own pace. I did not go to the gardens or take a guide round the house. Uppark is one of my favourite houses and to go from room to room each with a photo showing the fire damage and how perfectly The National Trust has restored it is quite amazing.

Did any of you miss having a pack in each room with information as one looked around? The room guides do not always know all the answers (how can they?) and it is much easier to read the information for oneself.

After a scenic and sometimes quite adventurous route home we all disembarked in Cranleigh at about 6.15pm with grateful thanks to the organisers.

Pat Breakell

With our guide by the Arundel Tomb

Attentive listeners getting an introduction to Uppark House
A detail of the magnificent Marc Chagall window based on Psalm 150

Gathering by the West Door of Chichester Cathedral