Bishop and Ambassadors Mark One Month to Go Until The Gathering

On Saturday 27th April, The Rt Rev Trevor Willmott, the Bishop of Dover will meet with volunteers to mark one month to go until The Gathering, an enlightening two-day festival of faith organised by the Diocese of Canterbury, which takes place within Canterbury Cathedral and its Precincts on Friday 31st May and Saturday 1st June.

Called ‘Ambassadors’, the volunteers have already been spreading the word about the event in their communities by giving out programmes, speaking at services and community meetings and generally encouraging people to come along.

The Revd Canon Caroline Pinchbeck, the Director of the Diocese of Canterbury’s Communities and Partnerships Framework, who convenes the team organising the event explained the importance of the Ambassadors:

“Whenever we have put on The Gathering, we have always had great support from volunteers at the event, however, this time we really wanted people to help us in the build-up to The Gathering and truly be ambassadors for it.

“With the Diocese reaching out as far as Maidstone, the Weald, up to Sheerness and Sittingbourne, Thanet, Dover and Sheppey, we are delighted that so many people are helping us spread the word about The Gathering across Kent.”

With only one month to go, there is still plenty to do and the Saturday training session is about giving Ambassadors all the practical information they need about the event, as well as encouraging them to keep reminding people to book their tickets.

Paula Jardin-Rose, is a member of St. Margaret’s Church in Wychling, Sittingbourne and she explained why she wanted to be an Ambassador:

“For me it was about wanting to give something back. The Church and the Cathedral organise many things which one can attend, but to actually be part of something and to feel you are making a difference, as well as helping promote the faith, was the main impetus for me.”

Whether a regular church-goer or not, with its range of high-profile speakers and leading theologians, wonderful worship and Bible study, as well as a host of creative and children’s activities, The Gathering aims to bring together people from across the region for an inspirational experience that all can enjoy.

Just some of the names to look forward to are; the writer and broadcaster, Melvyn Bragg, and Fabrice Muamba, the former footballer for Bolton Wanderers, who suffered a massive on-pitch heart attack in 2012 and who will speak about his early life in Africa, the presence of faith in football and the impact of this life-changing event.

There are also acclaimed scholars such as The Revd Dr Will Lamb, Vice-Principal of Westcott House, Cambridge and The Very Revd Dr Frances Ward, Dean of St. Edmundsbury, as well as many impressive local academics including; the Vice Chancellor of the University of Kent and eminent scientist, Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow; The Dean of Canterbury, The Very Revd Dr Robert Willis; author, Michele Guinness, and The Revd Bob Callaghan, National Coordinator for Inclusive Church.

On the Saturday there will be a host of creative and children’s activities, as well as the making of a giant image of the Cathedral made out of Lego, especially designed for The Gathering by the UK’s only Lego Master, and a working display of Hornby trains in the Cathedral Nave.

Full details of all the speakers and activities can be found at


For further information, or to arrange interviews with any of the speakers or activity leaders at The Gathering, please contact Jennifer Ross, Projects Officer for the Communities and Partnerships Framework on 01227 459 401 or via email

Notes to Editors

A photo-call will be held on Saturday 27th April, at 9.40am meeting at the Education Centre, Cathedral Precinct.

  • The Diocese of Canterbury’s Communities and Partnership Framework is one of five Frameworks within the Diocese of Canterbury. Its purpose is to empower parishes and deaneries to serve their communities by working in partnerships with others. The Framework has particular responsibility for rural and heritage issues, special interest groups, forging links with local authorities, other faith groups and with charities.
  • Tickets for The Gathering are available as day passes and include:
    • Access to all Bible study and key note speaker events
    • Worship
    • Creative activities
    • And a choice from a selection of daily talks.
    • TICKET PRICES: Friday £15 (day pass) / Saturday £15 (day pass) / Family pass £20 (includes two adults and up to 5 children under the age of 18)
    • Tickets are available to book online at or call 01227 787 787