St Edmundsbury Cathedral
|St Edmundsbury Cathedral|
|Cathedral Church of St James|
Cathedral from the east
|Location||Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk|
|Denomination||Church of England|
|Style||Gothic, Gothic Revival|
|Diocese||St Edmundsbury & Ipswich (since 1914)|
|Bishop(s)||The Right Reverend Mike Harrison|
|Subdean||Matthew Vernon, Canon Pastor|
|Director of music||James Thomas|
A church has stood on the site of the cathedral since at least 1065, when St Denis's Church was built within the precincts of Bury St Edmunds Abbey. In the early 12th century the Abbot, Anselm had wanted to make a pilgrimage along the Way of St James to Santiago de Compostela. He was unsuccessful and instead rebuilt St Denis's and dedicated the new church to Saint James, which served as the parish church for the north side of Bury St Edmunds.
This church was largely rebuilt, starting in 1503, with more alterations in the 18th and 19th centuries. When the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich was created in 1914, St James Church was made the cathedral. In 1959 Benjamin Britten wrote the Fanfare for St Edmundsbury for a "Pageant of Magna Carta" held in the cathedral grounds.
From 1960 onwards there was renewed building work designed to transform the former parish church into a cathedral building, with the rebuilding of the chancel and the creation of transepts and side chapels. The cathedral architect from 1943 to 1988 was Stephen Dykes Bower and he left £2 million for the completion of the cathedral. In the cathedral grounds a new choir school and visitor's centre were built which were opened in 1990. A Gothic revival tower was built between 2000 and 2005.
In addition to guided tours of the cathedral itself, visitors can view changing exhibits of art in the Edmund Gallery, and an exhibit of historic and religious regalia and artefacts in the Cathedral Treasures display. The painting "The Martyrdom of St Edmund" by Brian Whelan hangs in the Lady Chapel.
Dean and chapter
The Dean of St Edmundsbury is the head (primus inter pares – first among equals) and chair of the chapter of canons, the ruling body of the cathedral. Before 2000 the post was designated as a provost, which was then the equivalent of a dean at most English cathedrals. The first provost was John Orpen.
- Dean – The Very Revd Dr Frances Ward (since 16 October 2010 installation)
- Sub-Dean & Canon Pastor – The Revd Canon Matthew Vernon (Sub-Dean since 18 November 2012 licensing; Canon Pastor since 8 February 2009)
- Canon Precentor – The Revd Canon Philip Banks (since 19 February 2012 installation)
- Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich: The Right Reverend Martin Seeley
- Bishop of Dunwich: The Right Reverend Mike Harrison
Organ and organists
Director of Music
- 1896 Charles John Harold Shane
- 1937 Edward Percy Hallam
- 1958 Harrison Oxley
- 1985 Paul Trepte
- 1990 Mark Blatchly
- 1993 Mervyn Cousins
- 1997 James Thomas
The Martyrdom of St Edmund by Brian Whelan
- "History - Building The Church". St Edmundsbury Cathedral. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- St Edmundsbury Cathedral – Installation of Ward as Dean
- St Edmundsbury Cathedral – Appointment of Sub-Dean
- Emmanuel, Hong Kong – Installation of Canon Vernon
- St Edmundsbury & Ipswich – Former Chartered Surveyor to be Canon
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