Tradition thrives as charity commemorates founders

One of the county’s oldest charities held a service of memorial and remembrance as part of a tradition which has roots in medieval times.

Held annually to commemorate the founders and benefactors of the Rochester Bridge Trust, the service is sung in Latin and follows a style which would have been familiar to visitors to the Bridge Chapel 600 years ago.

The Trust was founded in 1399, after two wealthy knights paid for the construction of a new bridge at Rochester. They petitioned Richard II to grant permission to establish the Wardens and Commonalty of Rochester Bridge (now the Trust) so that the public would never again be called upon to pay towards the repair or replacement of this vital river crossing.

This is the reason why the current multi-million pound Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project can be carried out at no cost to the public.

The service was held in the Chapel of St Ithamar, in the Crypt of Rochester Cathedral. It was followed by a lunch.