Chelmsford Cathedral
Chelmsford Twinning Partnership

Who are we?

The Chelmsford Twinning Partnership (formerly known as Chelmsford Town Twinning Association) is a group based in Chelmsford and is run by volunteers to promote activities and links with our twin towns of Annonay in France and Backnang in Germany. We do not receive any funding from either Central Government or the City Council but we are sponsored by the High Chelmer shopping precinct. Their CEO, Mick McDonagh, is our Honorary President. The Civic side of the twinning is recognised by Chelmsford City Council where the original agreement documents are on display in the corridor leading to the Council Chamber. The connections with our twin towns are acknowledged by areas in the pedestrianised zone in the middle of Chelmsford; look out for Annonay Walk and Backnang Square. In 2019/2020 Chelmsford will be celebrating its 30th anniversary of twinning with Backnang (Baden-Württemberg) and its 20th anniversary of twinning with Annonay (Ardeche). 

Plans are well under way for these special events and it is likely that Chelmsford Cathedral will feature prominently. In December 2017 a completely new venture was introduced when a small group came over from Backnang to set up a stall at the Cathedral Advent Fair, selling local German produce. The group also joined the Cathedral congregation for the Sunday morning Advent service, when a ceremonial twinning candle was lit as part of the celebrations. So successful was the whole weekend that a re-run was organised for 2018. This was, again, a great success, suggesting that such participation is likely to continue in the years to come. Nicholas Henshall Dean of Chelmsford has also ‘come on board’ through preaching (in English!) at the Stiftskirche in Backnang and is planning to speak at the open-air ecumenical service during the Strassenfest in Backnang at the end of June 2019. Through these and similar events it is hoped to forge even stronger links between Town Twinning and the Cathedral.

December 2019

Following their success at previous participation, a team from Backnang joined the many stall holders at the Cathedral Christmas Fayre on Saturday, December 7th 2019. This time, language teacher Dorothy Ziesek came with a team of her students to man their stall, using the local produce that had been sent over prior to the event and which had been stored by members of Chelmsford Twinning Partnership ready for the day. Once again, sales were brisk and their tables had been cleared nearly an hour before the official 2.30 closing time! The student team included young people who had formed a link between the two Community Radio groups in their respective twinned towns and found time in the busy day to interview Vice-Dean Ivor Moody on the activities the Cathedral were involved in over the Christmas period. Most of the students were in Chelmsford for the first time but, by all accounts, were unlikely to make it their last!

For more information contact our Twinning secretary, Liz Sutton, at or visit the new website at


Alan Arnot


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