...........................we do have a Cathedral.The Cathedral Church of St James and St Edmund (The dedication to St Edmund was added only in 2009)
The Cathedral is in Bury St Edmunds and of course gets a mention in the 100 Treasures in 100 Churches book.
A couple of weeks ago I drove west to look round the town where I worked way back in the 1970's .
Many years since I'd been in the Cathedral but I happened to pick a day when it was full of primary school choirs practicing to sing at a concert, which meant it wasn't possible to get right around the inside.
But here's what I saw.
The Treasure mentioned in the book is this sculpture of King Edmund by Elizabeth Frink and commissioned in 1974.
Couldn't get down the front of the cathedral due to the school children.
Note the perspex figures - put in place for Remembrance Day - The figures were put in several churches to remember those people lost from the villages and towns
The figure in close up.
A Model of the cathedral and at the back is the beginnings of a larger lego
model being built brick by brick as the bricks are sponsored to pay for
Another view of the Cathedral from the side
The Norman Tower stands beside the Cathedral - the original way into the abbey ( more about this another day)
This is a drawing of how the abbey would have looked back in the C14, all gone apart from the few ruins and the Norman Tower which is easy to spot with what was then just the parish
church of St James to the left of it and the Abbey Gate on the left edge
of the picture and St Marys church - bottom right corner. So many
houses in the town must have been built using materials from the abbey
after Henry VIII and the dissolution
The Suffolk Churches website explains how we come to have a Cathedral without a city
In the early years
of the 20th Century, the Church of
England was at the apogee of its
influence and self-confidence. The time
was right to carve up the dioceses of
England into smaller patches which could
be more easily in touch with their
parishes. Parts of the Diocese of Norwich
and the Diocese of Ely were brought
together to form a new diocese which
would eventually take the name of the
Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.
And yet it might not have been called
that at all. The first task for any of
the new Dioceses was to choose a church
to become its cathedral. For some this
was easy and obvious - Essex's new
Diocese would inevitably be seated at St
Mary, Chelmsford, and that of south
Hampshire at St Thomas, Portsmouth. But
the new Suffolk diocese, which would
cover all of the county except for the
Lowestoft area, had a problem. There was
no obvious church that stood out as a
potential for a new Cathedral. The chosen
building had to be big, but it also had
to be suitable for expansion;
historically important buildings would
not lend themselves to being knocked
about. Ipswich had nothing to offer
except St Margaret, which was not big
enough and too architecturally important
for ruthless expansion, and St Mary le
Tower which was big enough for a starter,
and not historically important; but on
too confined a site for expansion, and in
any case without the gravitas a cathedral
requires. Southwold, which is near to
what was at the time believed to be the
original Suffolk see at Dunwich, was big
enough; but it was too valuable to be
extended, and in any case too remote. The
other great Suffolk churches, Lavenham,
Blythburgh, Long Melford, Stoke by
Nayland, and so on, were obviously too
remote, as well as being too important to
touch. The choice came down to the two
Bury St Edmunds churches, and the final
choice seems to have been made because St
Mary had too many medieval survivals to
make extension acceptable. No, only St
James would do.
Many thanks for comments on the favourite music posts