We recently hosted the last giant party in Cornwall for the foreseeable future, which at the time was completely unknown to us. It was my privilege to work with RCHT Charity on their major NHS fundraiser 'A St Piran's Night at the Cathedral' on 6 March, a real highlight of my career.
It is part of our mission to engage with new communities, audiences and to show that the cathedral is a place, and a space, for all. This hugely successful NHS charitable event demonstrated all those things and we were delighted to have welcomed a new audience into the cathedral and show it in a completely different light.
The sell-out evening saw us host our first ever silent disco (by Deluxx, up in the Gallery) in the cathedral with 1050 people pouring through our doors. St Piran was celebrated with traditional Cornish singing by Hit & Miss and further live music by Company B and Ferris Wheel Junkies. The party was a celebration of life for the people of Cornwall and what better place for the community to join together than in our magnificent and iconic cathedral, a sacred place but also a place for the people.
It could have all been so different though. The event may not have taken place in the cathedral at all were it not for their previously secured venue closing with no prior notice, so it was an absolute boon for the cathedral when Lynne Lees, Community Fundraiser for RCHT Charity, came calling!
Lynne Lees of RCHT Charity said, “When our initial venue fell through so unexpectedly I went straight to the cathedral and Sean welcomed us with open arms, enabling us to upgrade our NHS fundraiser to an event of mammoth proportions of some 1050 people.”
The transformation of the cathedral for the event was quite an undertaking but our hardworking verger team took it all in their stride, clearing all furniture and significant artefacts while the large Skinner's Brewery bar was built. Within hours we were transformed whilst the heart of the cathedral remained protected, untouched and held pride of place. The space worked beautifully.
Mass Affect Lighting worked their magic from the Gallery and showcased the entire Nave with an incredible light display whilst also highlighting the live music and PA system on the Podium, the Skinner's Brewery Bar, Ann's Pasties and the NHS Butterfly Cornwall areas in the side aisles. As 6:30pm rolled around guests soon arrived in their hundreds.
I spoke with Dean Roger after Evening Prayer, just before the guests arrived, and I asked if he'd ever imagined our cathedral looking like this. He said that it looked 'simply fantastic' and I could only agree at the phenomenal transformation.
When special guest, local star, Betty Stogs appeared waving our flag of St Piran early in the evening we were all bowled over with the most tremendous cheering from 1050 party goers and the celebratory tone of the evening was at its peak. The event really was the talk of Truro as people saw the innovative way the cathedral was being used and we all hope that when life, and the world, get back to 'normal' such a celebration will be repeated.
It was a delight to work with and welcome into the cathedral our NHS colleagues and we hope to develop our working relationship with RCHT Charity moving into the future.
Lynne Lees of RCHT Charity also said “Everyone who has supported this has made a direct impact enhancing NHS care across St Michael’s, West Cornwall and Royal Cornwall (Treliske) Hospitals and we are so grateful, thank you.”
Keep a close eye here and on our Twitter and Facebook pages to hear the latest cathedral news and about up and coming events. If you’d like to explore holding an event in one of the most iconic buildings in Cornwall then we'd love to hear from you email@example.com or on 01872 276782.
Photo credit: Dave Scoffin Photography