St Edmund's Church, Bury St Edmunds

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St Edmund's Church
St Edmund King and Martyr Church
Bury St Edmunds
Church entrance
Coordinates: 52°14′27″N 0°42′47″E / 52.2407°N 0.7131°E / 52.2407; 0.7131
OS grid reference TL8534063744
Location Bury St Edmunds
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Roman Catholic
Founder(s) Society of Jesus
Dedication Edmund the Martyr
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade II* listed
Designated 7 August 1952[1]
Architect(s) Charles Day
Style Classical Revival
Completed 1837
Deanery Bury St Edmunds
Diocese East Anglia
Province Westminster
Bishop(s) Rt. Rev. Alan Hopes
Priest(s) Father Mark Hackeson
Assistant priest Fr Gerard Quigley
Deacon(s) Rev Chris Heath
Rev Alan McMahon

St Edmund's church is a Parish church in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. It was founded by the Jesuits in 1763 and the current church was built on that site in 1837. It is situated on Westgate street in the centre of the town. It is administered by the Diocese of East Anglia, in its Bury St Edmunds deanery.[2] It is a Grade II* listed building.[1]



In 1762, Fr Gage, a Jesuit, came to Bury St Edmunds to start a mission to serve the local Catholics of the area. Work on a small chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception started that year. It was completed a year later in 1763. The present church is on the site of the same chapel, so it is the oldest site of post-reformation Catholic worship in the Diocese of East Anglia.[3]


By 1837, the size of the chapel was no longer sufficient for the expanding congregation. This led the Jesuits to ask the same architect who built St Francis Xavier Church in Hereford, Charles Day, to design a church for Bury St Edmunds.[1] It was dedicated to St Edmund the Martyr, from whom Bury St Edmunds gets its name. The two churches, St Francis Xavier in Hereford and St Edmund's were both done in the same Grecian style and built in the same years.


Many of the features around the main entrance, came from nearby Rushbrooke Hall in 1959. Originally, the marble surround came from a fireplace there. In the westside of the side of a church is a Blessed sacrament chapel. This was consecrated in 1791, but fell into disuse until 1971 when it was re-dedicated. Also, in the north side of the church ware three blocked arches. These contain the gravestones of Jesuit priests who served the parish in the early 19th-century.[1]


The church has three Sunday Masses, two on Sunday morning at 08:30 and 10:30 and a Sunday evening Mass at 18:00. There are also weekday Masses interspersed throughout the week.

The parish has a close relationship with the nearby St Edmund's Catholic Primary School. The school was opened in 1882. In addition, the pupils join in with the Mass on Holy Days in the parish.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d British listed buildings retrieved 16 December 2013
  2. ^ Parish at Diocese of East Anglia retrieved 16 December 2013
  3. ^ St Edmund's Church History Group retrieved 20 October 2013
  4. ^ About us at retrieved 16 December 2013

External links[edit]