Bury St Edmunds: Campaign is launched to reinstate Saint Edmund as patron saint of England

Greene King is leading a new St Edmund for England campaign

Greene King is leading a new St Edmund for England campaign - Credit: Archant

Readers are being urged to sign an e-petition calling for Saint Edmund to be reinstated as patron saint of England.

Today, a new campaign was launched to “get St Edmund his old job back”.

St Edmund, an ancient king of East Anglia who was martyred in 869AD, was patron saint of England during the Middle Ages, but was replaced by Saint George some 400 years later.

The new St Edmund for England campaign, which is being led by major pub and brewing company Greene King, launched live on Mark Murphy’s morning show on BBC Radio Suffolk.

Speaking at the St Edmund statue next to St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds, he said: “There’s real momentum. We got a foothold last time. He became patron saint of Suffolk, and if at first you don’t succeed try and try again.

“We need all of the East Anglian Daily Times’s readers to sign that e-petition.”

Mr Murphy spearheaded the previous campaign in 2006.

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He said he did not have anything against St George, but “St Edmund was real for a start”.

He added: “He was King of East Anglia and he was our patron saint and he was a thoroughly good king.”

Mark Blythman, strategy and communications director at Greene King, which is based in Bury St Edmunds, said there were a couple of reasons this campaign would be different to the last.

“Greene King is a national pub company. We have pubs from Carlisle to Canterbury, and we can encourage that debate across the whole of England and take it outside Suffolk and East Anglia.

“And I think secondly, the power of social media. It was in its infancy back in 2006...and we can use it to get that message out and encourage that debate and ask the question about who should be the patron saint of England?” To sign the e-petition visit www.edmundforengland.co.uk. Also, follow the campaign on Twitter @TheSaintEdmund or by tweeting #edmundforengland and visit www.facebook.com/StEdmundForEngland