eXplore… Cathedrals and Churches

Cathedrals and Churches in Bury St Edmunds

Bury St Edmunds is home to some of the most beautiful churches and cathedrals in the United Kingdom. The most prominent of these is St Edmundsbury Cathedral, which has been standing since 1020 AD and serves as the seat of the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich. This cathedral was established in honour of the Anglo Saxon King Edmund who was martyred in 869 AD.

The Church of St Mary, located on Honey Hill, is another popular church in Bury St Edmunds. It dates back to at least 1180 AD and has a rich history that includes being used as a prison during the English Civil War. Inside, visitors can explore its spectacular grade 1 listed medieval architecture and enjoy an extensive programme of worship services and community activities.

New Testament Baptist Church is another notable church in Bury St Edmunds. It offers weekly services for its congregation, as well as various outreach programmes such as food banks, youth groups and homeless shelters. The church also provides a safe space for people to come together to share their faith and build relationships with each other.

Many options for Cathedrals and Churches

No matter what your faith or beliefs may be, there are plenty of places to explore in Bury St Edmunds when it comes to religious sites. From ancient cathedrals and churches to modern places of worship, this town has something for everyone!

St Edmundsbury Cathedral

Can anyone help me? Is it true that if you live in one of the beautiful houses in the Cathedral Close, an ancient bylaw says that you are obliged to allow members of the public to look around your property at their request??!!… I heard this was the case and have often wondered

Toni Patterson


Since the houses in the west front are under the care of English Heritage, they should technically open up for Heritage Open Days (2nd week of September) as any building that receives funding or support from EH is supposed to.

I doubt there was ever a by-law of the kind mentioned, but it was certainly convenient for the inhabitants of the west front to open their houses to visitors in the C19.

They would have been tenants of the Marquess of Bristol (who owned the entire site until 1953) so he could also have put a clause in the tenancy agreement, but I don’t know whether that was the case. The houses are now owned by SEBC, I believe

Francis Young


Been to the Cathedral today. The Bury cross replica and other treasures well worth a look.

Had forgotten what a little treasure it is.

Mark Murphy Burton


Great times as a schoolgirl in the Cathedral rehearsing for Songs of Praise.

I was at St. Louis Convent but all the schools took part. This would be back in the mid-’70s.

I can’t for the life of me remember what we sang.

Can anyone out there help?

It would have been a big number!!! Amazing acoustics.

Susan Miles


My sister and I were christened in the Cathedral, went to Sunday school in the Cathedral and I was married in St Marys Church August 6th.1957.

My brother was married in the Cathedral and I do believe he was a choir boy there for a while.

Will always remember Mothering Sunday, when we went to church and presented our Mum with Daffodils, and the inevitable trip to the Abbey Gardens after.

Whenever I come home I usually make my way around to St Mary’s Church and then down to the Cathedral.

I always have to stop in at The Cathedral Shop to pick up some Static Cling Stained Glass, for my husband to use in the windows of the small churches he makes.

Janet Lester


I remember working on the West Front of the Abbey when the part next to the Cathedral was first renovated traditional methods were used old-style lath and lime plaster with hair, which played havoc on your hands.

It was winter and it was colder in the building than outside. The plaster took ages to set and dry even with heaters. The flint walls were up to 1metre or thicker, how it was heated when finished I don’t know but it must have cost a fortune.

Then when they started the rest some years later I worked on those as well, glutton for punishment!

Les Hopton


How many know that in the ceiling of the Cathedral there is a deliberate mistake in the painting, certain sections are painted blue but one is deliberately painted green.

Les Hopton


Churches – St Edmunds Roman Catholic Church

I posted a rather confusing fact yesterday that seems to contradict what some people know I hope this puts it right? It was thought (though It cannot be proved) that the main tower of ST EDMUNDS church was an estimated 300ft this came from architectural evidence of the existing ruins being able to support a structure of some 386ft.

But using modern techniques and computer modelling combined with real-world physics (providing the reconstructions of parts of the ruins are accurate).
It is now argued that the church could have supported a tower of an estimated 490 ft. Paintings of the church can also be extrapolated using the Cathedral to show a tower nearly 500 ft high but this is most unlikely it is most likely the tower was only 350 ft as the structure had to support two such towers but it’s fascinating I’m sure you will agree.

We may never know the exact height but we can take an educated guess quite rightly pointed out I am talking Romanesque not medieval.

Raymond Gordon



Churches – St Johns Church

Can anyone remember Parkers (The Bakers) opposite St Johns Church School, the lady used to bring the penny buns to sell to the children through the school railings? (Late 30’s early 40’s)

Denise Beggs


Churches – St Marys Church

St Mary’s Church is my church, its where I was christened, and where my grandparents took me every Sunday morning for service.

I was very young when I first entered those mighty portals, at four it seemed like a magical place, everybody seemed to know each other, it was always full of echo’s and I loved it.

I’m not religious but somehow it all made a big impact on me, we always used to go to midnight carols on Christmas eve. After a few wines in the Angel, lol, and it felt good to sing your heart out.

We buryites are very lucky to have such a beautiful choice of churches. The Cathedral which really makes us a city, St Johns and the one in Hospital Road. But nothing beats my St Mary’s …

Jane Millar