The 10th anniversary of the opening of St Edmundsbury Cathedral’s Millennium Tower has been marked by the launch of a charity to help raise money for the future life and work of the cathedral.
The Foundation of St Edmund was announced yesterday at a celebration of the successful completion 10 years ago of the £10.3million Millennium Project.
This was to build the cathedral tower, create new cloisers and the Chapel of the Transfiguration.
Begun at the start of 2001 there followed nearly five years of major construction and craftsmanship to complete the town’s iconic building using Barnack limestone and flint. This transformed the skyline of Bury St Edmunds.
The opening ceremomy was attended by Prince Charles, who was patron of the tower appeal, and the Duchess of Cornwall.
The foundation is a stand alone registered charity with trustees drawn from a wide background.
It will look beyond the county, nationally and internationally, to seek out fresh funding for projects which are over and above the everyday life of the cathedral.
Canon Matthew Vernon, sub dean of the cathedral and a trustee of the foundation, said: “This is an exciting new stage in the life of the Cathedral and Diocese.
“Now the building is fit for purpose, we are keen to move forward with new initiatives which will serve the communities with which we work.”
This week two exhibitions have been on display marking the building work.
One is by Project Artist Lillias August who is showing some of the work which the five-year build inspired.
Some of the construction detail was captured by Lillias in her paintings although much is now hidden from sight
She said: “The Tower completes the townscape. And while initially some people were against it something like this is very uplifting.
“Every town looks lovely when you see the spires of their church buildings.”
Painting since the age of 18 Lillias also became a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour in 2006.
She added: “I find an uncompromising strength in ordinary subject matter.
“From the understated landscape of the fens to the raw details of a building site, it is often the ‘anonymous’ rather than the ‘picturesque’ that steal my heart.”