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Plans for Abbey of St Edmund engagement events backed by councillor funding

Reverend Canon Matthew Vernon Picture: ST EDMUNDSBURY BOROUGH COUNCIL

Reverend Canon Matthew Vernon Picture: ST EDMUNDSBURY BOROUGH COUNCIL

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Plans for a number of community events including children’s theatre workshops to encourage people to learn the history behind the Abbey of St Edmund have been backed by councillor funding.

The ruins of the old cathedral in Abbey Gardens Picture: GREGG BROWNThe ruins of the old cathedral in Abbey Gardens Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership is to receive more than £6,200 in locality budget funding from St Edmundsbury borough councillors Patrick Chung, Robert Everitt, Sarah Stamp, Clive Springett, Julia Wakelam and Frank Warby, and from Bury St Edmunds town councillors John Augustine, Wayne Hailstone, Tom Murray and Andrew Speed.

The funding will support seven projects to run a series of community engagement events and children’s theatre workshops, to produce a new visitor leaflet and wall map about the Abbey of St Edmund and to help develop website content, social media, and IT to help communicate the work of the heritage partnership.

MORE: Torch-lit procession and music festival - ideas for Bury St Edmunds abbey millennium celebrations

The abbey will celebrate its 1,000 anniversary next year after being established as a Benedictine foundation in 1020.

Plans for a series of events over seven months in 2020 – including a torch-lit procession and light trail through the Abbey Gardens – are already underway following a £10,000 award from Bury Town Council.

Crowds gather at St Edmundsbury Catherdral to hear the results of two studies which have taken place on the Abbey of St Edmund Picture: ELLA WILKINSONCrowds gather at St Edmundsbury Catherdral to hear the results of two studies which have taken place on the Abbey of St Edmund Picture: ELLA WILKINSON

Rev Canon Matthew Vernon, chairman of the heritage partnership, said: “We are grateful for this funding which will help us to develop our work further and communicate what we are doing more effectively.

“This will be important in our bids to the new National Lottery Heritage Fund (formerly HLF) to support the 2020 Millennium Celebrations and to fund future projects.”

MORE: ‘Immense amount’ of ancient abbey remains undiscovered, studies reveal

The funding follows on from public feedback at the ‘Past Present and Future’ conference in January where the findings of two studies – a heritage assessment and a conservation plan – were revealed for the first time.

The conference discussed ideas for the future and the grants from local councillors will help to secure national funding to progress some key projects.

The aim of the heritage partnership aims to deepen public understanding of the life and times of St Edmund and the medieval abbey and to encourage people to experience the spiritual, historical and archaeological significance of the Abbey of St Edmund in the modern world.

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