The charity Friends of SussexHospices headed by Kathy Gore from Framfield held its first major cross-Sussex event in the shape of a 31-hour long Hymnathon at Chichester Cathedral on May 3 and 4.
Twenty-two choirs, twelve organists and over three hundred singers from across Sussex sang their way through the entire contents of the New English Hymnal - 542 hymns - over the two days in a bid to raise funds for local hospices.
The event culminated in a grand finale with Dame Felicity Lott who, together with soloists Janine Willard, Rich Moore and Josh Cooter, led the singing of the top favourite hymns.
The Dean of Chichester, The Very Reverend Nicholas Frayling, welcomed the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Mr Peter Field, the High Sheriffs of East and West Sussex, and an estimated audience of 400 who sang some very rousing hymns to the accompaniment of the great organ, which was played by Sarah Baldock.
Friends of Sussex Hospices chair, Kathy Gore, said: “We don’t yet know exactly how much the Hymnathon has raised since we are still receiving sponsorship monies, but the event was an enormous success on many other fronts, not least in generating goodwill and awareness for the charity in West Sussex and in recruiting new supporters.
“Everyone I spoke to during the Hymnathon mentioned how delighted they were to have been involved. The cathedral was such a magnificent venue and many appreciated the opportunity and privilege of singing there.”
Friends of Sussex Hospices (www.friendsofsussexhospices.org.uk) is a registered charity run entirely by volunteers. It raises funds for and promotes awareness of the invaluable services offered by the 10 hospices and 2 care-at-home providers that serve the adults and children of Sussex.
Kathy Gore is a former High Sheriff of East Sussex and current deputy Lord Lieutenant. Before moving to Framfield with her husband Jack in 1993 she worked for a US investment bank in London, marketing new share issues to European institutional investors.
Kathy has been involved with the Friends since the charity started in 1995 . She was a trustee of the Martlets Hospice in Hove for ten years and trustee of the Sussex Beacon, an AIDS/HIV facility in Brighton for three years. She is also a patron of The Whitehawk Inn.
She was selected as a torchbearer for the Olympic flame when it crossed the Seven Sisters last year and has raised more than £30,000 for the Friends by taking part in three London Marathons.