Archbishop of Canterbury to launch Diocese centenary celebrations in Bury St Edmunds

Sarah Friswell and volunteer Stephen Dart with some of the items which tell of the 100 year history of the cathedral and diocese

Sarah Friswell and volunteer Stephen Dart with some of the items which tell of the 100 year history of the cathedral and diocese

The Archbishop of Canterbury will visit St Edmundsbury Cathedral to help launch the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich - after a fascinating exhibition opened this week to mark the centenary.

The Most Rev Justin Welby will come to Bury St Edmunds on March 29 to kick off the packed programme of events under the theme ‘Pilgrims in Time’, which mark the official creation of the Church of England Diocese on January 21 1914 and the iconic cathedral on the site of the parish church of St James.

Pilgrimages including one to the Holy Land have been planned and this week an exhibition opened in the cathedral’s Treasury with documents, photos and artefacts from 1913/14.

It includes a copy of the Baptism register for that year, which offers a revealing glimpse of the residents of the town.

Officials hope the exhibition will encourage people to come forward with their own memories of the cathedral over the past 100 years with the aim of staging a second exhibition in the summer featuring local memorabilia.

Sarah Friswell, PR manager, said: “We would be delighted to hear from anyone with photos of family events or artefacts linked to the cathedral, particularly ones from before 1960.”

Other events planned for the centenary include pilgrimages to the Holy Land led by former Diocesan Bishop, the Right Rev Nigel Stock, and to Santiago de Compostella led by Canon Philip Banks, Cathedral Precentor.

In November, the Dean of St Edmundsbury The Very Rev Dr Frances Ward will lead a pilgrimage to Kagera, which is their link Diocese in Tanzania.

From July 24 to 27, the cathedral will be transformed by the Reflections Flower Festival.

There will be a talk from the Dean entitled ‘A Living Tradition: the story of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich’ on February 3 at 7.30pm at the cathedral.

There is also plenty for young people with activities inspired by Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.

The current exhibition, which runs until March, is open from Monday to Saturday 10am to 3pm. Access to the Treasury is from the Cloisters.

A new book, ‘100 Years, 100 Treasures’, detailing treasures to be found in churches across the Diocese as well as a history of the Diocese is available from the Cathedral Shop priced £5.

Anyone with mementos relating to the cathedral, should contact Sarah on 01284 748726 or




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