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Latest Visitor News & Updates

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Latest Visitor News & Updates

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Latest Visitor News & Updates


Latest Visitor News & Updates


Latest Visitor News & Updates

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Latest Visitor News & Updates


Latest Visitor News & Updates

Latest visitor news

‘REGARDS FROM ROCHESTER’ by Thomas Hewitt Jones

Published: 15 February 2023 Media Release

Founded in 1873, Rochester Choral Society is celebrating its 150th anniversary in March 2023 with a newly-commissioned choral work, Regards from Rochester, by award-winning British composer, and Rochester resident, Thomas Hewitt-Jones. The work receives its premiere on 18 March 2023 in Rochester Cathedral.

Rochester itself is drenched in history. Regards from Rochester celebrates the rich history of the Medway Towns, exploring themes and valuable human stories while relating them to contemporary society. From the first Saxon settlement through to historic stronghold, from pillar of British naval history through to industrial centre and inspiration for Charles Dickens, composer Thomas Hewitt Jones hopes that this “postcard from Rochester” will celebrate and exude compassion for our planet, social conscience, humanity and kindness – values that are incredibly important to our world in 2023.

Click here to read the full media release.

Tickets for the Rochester Cathedral concerts are available online.

An introduction to 'Regards to Rochester' music can be viewed on this short video.

Peace Doves now open at Rochester Cathedral

Published 12 February 2023

The latest large-scale immersive artwork at Rochester Cathedral is now open. Peace Doves is made up of around fifteen thousand individually handmade paper doves which are suspended above the Nave. It is an artwork by Peter Walker Sculptor. It brings a message of peace and hope as the doves collectively form a beautiful artwork which as a whole reflects joining together in unity, peace and hope moving forward.

Over the past few months, thousands of visitors have written their own messages onto paper doves at the Cathedral. These doves are now part of the artwork.

The project has gone beyond Rochester Cathedral itself. Over 60 schools across the South East have signed up to create their own Peace Dove displays at school.

As well as viewing Peace Doves during the day, Rochester Cathedral is holding events in the evening. These begin on the 14th February with a special Valentine’s Day event under a romantic flock of paper doves. They will also welcome local busker, Jordan Ravenhill on the 18th February who is performing at Rochester Cathedral for the first time. A Ukrainian Cultural Event will be held on 24th February marking the 1st anniversary of the war in Ukraine. More events will take place during March and April.

Peace Doves is an artwork that has been re-curated for different spaces as it tours the UK. Adaptations have been seen in many Cathedrals including Liverpool, Lichfield, Derby and Sheffield.

The Very Rev'd Dr Philip Hesketh says ‘In a world of constant conflict the need to work and pray for peace should be central to our lives.  This artwork provides a visible expression for our hopes and dreams for a better world.’

Throughout history the dove has been viewed as a symbol of peace in many different cultures.  For example in Greek mythology the dove is a symbol of the renewal of life, and liturgically within the Bible the dove appears at the Baptism of Jesus in the river Jordon and in the teachings of Noah and the Ark as a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

Rochester Cathedral would like to thank Rochester Riverside Community Fund for their support of this event.

Peace Doves is now open until the 18th April. Admission is free during the day with charges applying for special events and groups. Visitors are encouraged to share images using the hashtag #peacedoves

Find out more at

For the full media release, click here

Hawker Hurricane has arrived for Restoration

Published 20 January 2023 - Media Release 

An eagerly awaited warbird has arrived in the hangar of the Medway Aircraft Preservation Society (MAPSL) Ltd on Rochester Airport. Hawker Hurricane IIB BH238 was originally manufactured by Gloster Aircraft Company at Brockworth in Gloucestershire in early 1942, as part of a batch numbered BH215 to BH264.

First delivered to No. 52 Maintenance Unit (MU) at Pengham Moors, Cardiff, it was dismantled ready for packing before transportation to Russia. Leaving the UK on 26 January 1942 it may have travelled to Russia via Arctic convoy PQ9 or PQ11 arriving at Murmansk in February 1942. No information is available relating to its Russian service but the skeletal remains of the aircraft arrived back in the UK and taken to Sandown Airport on the Isle of Wight around 2000. It went on display at the now closed Frontline Aviation Museum on the island before arriving in the workshop of MAPSL where it will undergo restoration before going on display at an unknown destination.


1,884 Hurricane Mk.IIBs were sent or handed over to Russia but before this the Hawker Hurricane was the mainstay aircraft in the Battle of Britain, there being more squadrons of this type than the Spitfire. Its construction of metal, wood and canvas allowed it to take more punishment than the Spitfire and although slower in speed, many pilots preferred to fly this type in combat. After the Battle of Britain a change of policy at the Air Ministry dictated that the Spitfire was to be the main attacking aircraft for the Luftwaffe escort Messerschmitt 109s whilst the Hurricane was to attack the enemy bomber formations.

A dedicated team of MAPSL will now begin the task of making sure that this icon of the Second World War and of the war in Russia will take its place in the history of the Royal Air Force.

Robin J Brooks. PR-Medway Aircraft Preservation Society (MAPSL) Ltd.

Illuminating Medway's city centre


Published: Tuesday, 6th December 2022

A spectacular two-day light extravaganza, with a 12-storey-high interactive installation, is set to illuminate Medway’s naval town of Chatham.

Drawing on the success of the first Medway Light Nights, which attracted more than 60,000 people to historic Rochester in 2022, the free festival will return to Medway’s Chatham city centre in February 2023 and is anticipated to be an even bigger, better and brighter light display. 

Residents and visitors are encouraged to save the date in their diaries as a reminder not to miss out on seeing a number of creative displays which will illuminate Chatham High Street on Friday, 10 and Saturday, 11 February 2023.

At one end of Chatham High Street, overlooking the River Medway, is Mountbatten House. The former office block, which towers above the town centre with an iconic wall of windows, will be transformed into a video screen creating an animation using inclusive symbols with an accompanying soundtrack. The commission, Pixels by Lucid Creates, is anticipated to wow the crowds as part of the finale of a lantern procession transforming the major landmark in Medway’s city centre. 
At the other end of Chatham High Street to Mountbatten House, visitors will be taken on a journey through Medway and will be able to explore the enchanted river that made Chatham great. The Magical Medway at Nucleus Arts is an immersive experience of lights, sounds, theatre and surprise as visitors walk through the gardens of Nucleus Arts, transformed into magical playground of nautical fun.
Each display follows the theme Love Chatham and will be playful and accessible installations celebrating the landscape and local stories. Chatham has a strong, growing creative community and Medway Light Nights 2023 will highlight the town’s historical and current relationship with artists. The commissions will reflect the area’s rich history, diverse culture and ambitious future of Chatham.
Other confirmed commissions at this time include:
•    Impossible Arts, with Lightweight
•    Dream Safari, title to be announced 
•    Circadian, Heart Beats
•    Howard Griffin, Moving the Immovable: Electric Chatham
•    Colour Foundry, Patchwork Habitats
•    Circo Rum Baba, Light Ship
•    Bureau of Silly Ideas presenting a SuperFiction
•    Emergency Exit Arts, Fire Laboratory
More information on the unique light displays will be released in the lead-up to Medway Light Nights 2023. 
Medway Light Nights, a Medway Council event produced by Emergency Exit Arts and supported by Arts Council England. This fantastic family-friendly two-day spectacular event builds on Medway’s aspiration to provide even more child-friendly opportunities for children and young people, and will provide an opportunity for that perfect Instagram moment.
Chatham is easily accessible with its own railway station with high-speed connections into London, bus station and is close to major motorways. 
Paul Cowell, Head of Culture and Libraries for Medway Council, said: “Medway Light Nights is a true celebration of Medway’s superb, diverse and innovative creatives. We are working with Emergency Exit Arts to deliver an even bigger and brighter festival. 

“Medway Light Nights also supports Medway’s cultural strategy, delivered by Creative Medway, and aims for the area to be internationally recognised for its creativity and culture by 2030. The inaugural Medway Light Nights received glowing feedback and we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of people to Medway’s city centre in February for another spectacular event.”

Daniel Bernstein, CEO of Emergency Exit Arts, said: “Emergency Exit Arts (EEA) can't wait to bring Medway Light Nights to Chatham. We have spent the last six months working out which fantastic commissions will work in which places in Chatham. We've got some amazing, playful pieces which we're sure residents and visitors will love. Please pop the dates in your diary; invite friends and family to come experience an amazing free light festival that will transform Chatham this February.”

Lantern procession to launch Medway Light Nights

The event will be launched on the Friday with a lantern procession, organised by Ideas Test, Cohesion Plus and Intra Arts, with hundreds of school children further lighting up Chatham town centre. 
To find out more, visit:

Or look out for #MedwayLightNights and #LoveChatham on social media.

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