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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man
Sunday 11th April 2010
Chichester Cathedral

The Peregrines that live on the cathedral spire have been there now for 10 years and are said to be the most successful known pair in the whole of the UK. They've already had 30 offspring and have helped to greatly increase the Sussex population. One of their chicks has even been found to be living in Belgium. The female is currently sitting on four eggs and the male is hunting for food for both himself and the female. When not out hunting the male can be seen perched on the spire like a medieval gargoyle with his head markings resembling an executioners mask. Look up at him with your binoculars and he'll look straight back at you.
The cathedral itself, apart from being an important place of worship and a place of pilgrimage, is like a huge museum and today we made a beeline straight for the exhibition of Sussex church plate. Quite frankly this exhibition filled us with awe and wonder. There must be a few million pounds worth of silver there, but apart from the monetary value the pieces themselves are incredible. Many of the chalices and patens (plates to hold the bread) date from 1568, when royal decree from Good Queen Bess commanded that all church plate be redesigned in a less papal style. The plate comes from all of the churches in Sussex and it was wonderful for us to see these ancient relics from many of the small village churches that we know so well. If you're a fan of The Antiques Roadshow and you're from Sussexshire, then you'll really appreciate this amazing little exhibition.

Are you looking at me?... Are you looking at me?

Pulborough's Elizabethan chalice.

A law was passed that made it compulsory for everyone go to church. As a consequence a lot of wine was needed,
so the churches started to get these large flagons to hold it. This one came from Shoreham.

All of this silver, from many different Sussex churches, was made by the same man in 1568.

These 13th century chalices were found in the tombs of medieval bishops.