Rochester Cathedral Receives Top Honour for New Lighting Scheme

10th October 2023

Rochester Cathedral has received an award of excellence from the International Association of Lighting Designers.

A cathedral spokesman said its lighting and electrical design scheme, which was installed in 2022, “transformed” the building, which dates back to 1080.

The judges praised the scheme at England’s second-oldest cathedral for its “balance and adaptability”.

Rochester Cathedral has received a top honour for its new lighting scheme.

The Very Reverend Philip Hesketh, Dean of Rochester, said:

“It is amazing the effect that the lighting has had upon the Cathedral. The new lighting has enhanced architectural features and aspects unnoticed and areas that have been in the shadows for many a year – stunning.” 

The new lighting scheme, designed by CES Lighting & Electrical Specialists, was installed between 2021/2022 replacing the previous system which had been installed in the 1960’s. This new scheme has had a significant impact on the cathedral’s carbon footprint and allows the cathedral to highlight significant historical features and allow flexibility when different spaces are being used.

As the current building is nearly 1000 years old, the project was not without its challenges. The design needed to be fitted without disrupting or damaging its historic features. The team had to find innovative ways of mounting fittings for cable routes, fixings and custom brackets. The lighting scheme had to be easy to maintain and energy efficient.

The IALD International Lighting Design Awards are heralded as the top honour in the lighting design industry celebrating exceptional lighting design and this award is considered one of the highest accolades in the lighting industry.

The judges for the IALD Award of Excellence said of the project.

“There is a particular challenge to lighting a house of worship for both religious and secular functions. This design provides such a balance and adaptability with no compromise to the beauty of either application.”

 Rochester Cathedral would like to thank the Friends of Rochester Cathedral and the Rochester Cathedral Trust for raising the funds which allowed this vital project to happen.