The 'Friends of Chartres' is Chichester's French Twinning Association. The cities of Chichester and Chartres have been twinned since 28th February 1959 when the Mayor's of the two cities signed the 'Deed of Jumelage (Twinning)' in Chichester City's Council Chamber.
The 'Friends of Chartres' were formed in March 1962, as a voluntary association, to foster the friendship between the citizens of the two cities, and to encourage other groups within the City to get involved. Over the years many other groups and organisations (e.g. Rotary, Lions, sports clubs, schools) have been linked with their counterparts in Chartres. The two cathedrals have also developed close links of their own.
Part of twinning is to learn about each other's culture, heritage, traditions and customs and this is the basis for our Association's work in providing an annual programme of events, including annual exchanges with Chartres.
Each year an exchange is organised over a long weekend, usually in May, when 45 or so citizens travel either from Chichester to Chartres, or from Chartres to Chichester to stay with host families. Usually this is with the same family as previously and many good friendships have been built up over the years. We also have several 'language circles' that help people (at various levels of ability) practise and improve their spoken French.
The Association is funded by its members. Whilst occasional grants are received from Chichester City Council and others, these are for specific projects, not for day to day running.
In looking to the future we welcome your suggestions. Please contact us