Winchester’s Letter from the Queen

20th January 2021

A letter from the Queen marks a happy new year for the Friends of Winchester Cathedral

The Queen has sent a letter of good wishes to the Friends of Winchester Cathedral to mark their 90th anniversary this year.

In it, Her Majesty acknowledges the virtual events and financial contribution to the live streaming kit the Friends had provided for the Cathedral last year saying she was

“pleased to learn of the success of the many virtual events which have been organised since the outbreak of the pandemic and of the funding by members for an installation in the cathedral to allow the online video-streaming of services”.

The Queen has been the Royal Patron of the Friends since her accession in 1953 and has taken a keen interest in their work. The Friends were launched in 1931 by the then Dean of Winchester, Gordon Selwyn, to provide extra financial support to the Cathedral in as many ways as possible.

Three years ago, Her Majesty gave permission for ‘Queen Elizabeth’s Winchester Carol’ to be commissioned in honour of her own ninetieth birthday celebrations – and she even asked to hear a recording of it ahead of its première in the cathedral.

The Dean of Winchester, the Very Rev Catherine Ogle, said:

“This gracious message from Her Majesty the Queen gives a sparkling start to the year in which we celebrate 90 years of The Friends of Winchester Cathedral. The Friends are fortunate to have such a patron and we are fortunate to have such Friends.”

The Cathedral’s video-streaming kit was installed last Autumn. Winchester Cathedral has just suspended all public worship and now offers its main services online as part of the national effort to stop the spread of the coronovirus, keep people safe and protect the NHS.