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Question Time, 5th March 2015

Question Time: Election 2015 Hustings
5th March 2015

With only 12 weeks to go before the general election, Ely Cathedral Business Group have organised a Question Time style Election Husting, putting local candidates on the spot, at Ely Cathedral on Thursday 5th March 2015 at 6.30pm.

Following a similar format to the BBC Question Time, panellists will be made up of the Parliamentary Candidates for the South East Cambridgeshire Constituency. The candidates in the spotlight at this event are Jonathan Chatfield – Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate, Lucy Frazer – Conservative Parliamentary Candidate, Huw Jones – Labour Parliamentary Candidate, Deborah Rennie – UKIP Parliamentary Candidate and Clive Semmens – Green Party Parliamentary Candidate.

A spokesperson from Ely Cathedral Business Group said "We are pleased to have such high profile local representation from all the main parties. We want to encourage people to come along to hear what they have to say and have the opportunity to ask the questions that matter to them. Our focus is about supporting this community and the businesses which operate within it. We hope by bringing these key parties together in our magnificent cathedral, members of the community will feel better informed as to which way to vote on May 7th".

Anyone is welcome to attend this event and admission is free. Questions may be submitted in advance, noting the ECBG theme: Ely Cathedral Business Group believes that there is a strong correlation between the health of the business sector, and the well-being of the communities in which those businesses operate. The purpose of ECBG is to explore this relationship and to strengthen the correlation: to help businesses succeed and thereby make our communities stronger.

Please register your attendance online

For further information please contact Coralie Green on 07771 743604, visit or view a PDF containing further inforamation here.

Ely Festive 5k, 23rd November

Ely Festive 5k for Arthur Rank Hospice Charity
23rd November 2014

A fun run is taking place at Ely Market Place in aid of the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity in November. Please see the full details below.

Easter Craft Fair

Easter Craft fair at Ely's Cathedral Centre
1st April 2014

A craft fair with over 30 stalls will be held at Ely's Cathedral Centre on Saturday 5th April.

Refreshments will be available, as well as original prints, bags, children's clothes, knitted goods, handmade toys, beauty products, cards jewellery and much more.

The event runs from 10am until 3pm and admission for adults is 50p, with free admission for children under 16.

For more information please contact Claire Mills, the Centre Manager on 01353 659668 or email here.

New language centre for Ely

Cambridge English College Ely looking for local 'homestay' families
21st April 2013

Ely's reputation as a burgeoning business centre is set to get a boost from a new English language training centre for overseas senior executives which has been established in the city.

Cambridge English College Ely offers English and related academic tuition senior and middle management professionals from all over the world for whom English is a second language.

They come from a variety of industries and professions including aviation, shipping, diplomacy and international relations.

The venture is the brainchild of Ely-based international education consultant, Peter Harris.

He said: "Ely already has a reputation for welcoming visitors from all over the world. By attracting overseas business men and woman to the city, there is an opportunity to enhance links between them and our business community which is at the heart of the UK\'s fastest growing economy."

The college's Academic Director, Glyn Alban Roberts, said: "Increasingly, a good knowledge of spoken and written English is the key to success in most international careers and enterprises.

"We take great care to make our students aware of how English should be used in different professional and social settings."

The college is initially using teaching accommodation at the Cathedral Centre and students will stay with local families. The first group of executives arrive from Nigeria 2-8 June with a second group scheduled for 18-24 August.

"Homestay is important as it enables our students to become fully immersed in the English way of life and we know from experience what an enriching experience it can be for the hosts," said Mr Alban Roberts.

Anyone interested in the opportunity to offer homestay is invited to contact the college administrator, Lynda Kirby on 01353 778438 or email

Further details about the college can be found at

A Choral Celebration!

Ely Choral Society, Kempen Protestant Church Choir & Ely Youth Choir
Ely Cathedral, 27th October 2012

"It's going to be a truly cracking evening," said Canon Alan Hargrave, welcoming the audience to A Choral Celebration! I thought to myself "it jolly well better be" because minutes before I'd dragged myself away from a blazing fire and Strictly Come Dancing.

You don't often hear choral music described as 'cracking' – more usually it's 'uplifting' – but I can't think of a better way to describe the programme that conductor Andrew Parnell put together for a concert that marked the tenth anniversary of his association with Ely Choral Society.

This is Ely and district's largest choir which is open to anyone who wants to sing. On Saturday the choir was around 130 strong and included 30 members of Kempen Protestant Church Choir who had travelled from Germany for this special occasion.

The programme opened with Haydn's Missa Brevis Sancti Johannis de Deo (The Little Organ Mass) with guest soloist Rebecca Duckworth's warm soprano in the Benedictus section. The choir really got into their stride for Fauré's Catinque de Jean Racine, written in 1864 when the composer was only 19. Appropriately 11 members of Ely Youth Choir (Ely Choral Society's community choir for 11-18-year-olds) were involved in this lovely melodic piece.

The Choral Society is fortunate to have an accompanist as accomplished as Jonathan Lilley who has been Assistant Organist at Ely since 2002. His first organ solo was Recessional by William Mathias, the composer who wrote the anthem Let the People Praise Thee, O God for the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981. Jonathan knows the cathedral's magnificent instrument so well that it has almost become an extension of his being. This was a terrific, vibrant piece which was a highlight of the first half.

J S Bach's O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht was followed by Mendelssohn's Hear My Prayer. This cantata-in-miniature concludes with the oh-so-familiar O for the wings of a dove, which, sung by seemed positively oh-so-fresh.

Andrew Parnell is earning an enviable reputation as a composer as well as a conductor and the second half of the programme began with The Dew of Heaven which was commissioned by Ely Choral Society with the help of a bequest from long serving contralto member of the choir, Mary Shelbourne, a skilled calligrapher and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers. The bequest was augmented by a grant from the Stationers' Foundation and donations made by members of the society.

This was the first public performance of the piece and the choir, including the members of the Youth Choir, approached it with an intensity that was almost palpable. This was a challenging but accessible piece which deserves a wider audience which I've no doubt it will receive. Bravo, Mr Parnell! I hope the composer enjoyed the choir's performance as much as the audience.

Jonathan Lilley's choice for his second solo in the second half of the programme – Prelude and Fugue in G minor by Marcel Dupré – offered an even better opportunity for him to demonstrate his skill. It was a fiendishly difficult piece which started with a whisper and ended with a roar. Magnificent!

The organist had the opportunity take a break for the concert's penultimate item , Jauchzet dem Herrn which Mendelssohn wrote for four-part a cappella chorus and which the Kempen visitors were able to sing in their native German.

The beautiful melody of John Rutter's The Lord bless you and keep you was probably being hummed by most of us as we walked out of the cathedral into an icy wind whipping past the West door. It really had been a 'cracking' evening.

Consultation on Cinema Provision in Ely

East Cambridgeshire District Council has been gathering views on how the district should grow and develop. Public consultation on the Ely Masterplan revealed strong support for a new cinema in Ely. We now need your views on where a new multiplex cinema could be located.

Comments should be made by Monday 6 August 2012. It would help us to save resources if you are able to make your response online via

Alternatively you can print a questionnaire from our website and return it to either: (1) Forward Planning, East Cambridgeshire District Council, The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, (2) Ely Library or (3) The Maltings.

Any information that you provide will be used for the purpose of the East Cambridgeshire Local Plan, and will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act. If you have any questions, please call the Forward Planning team on 01353 665555 or email