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

Greene King launch their St Edmunds for England campaign in Bury to try and reinstate St Edmund and

Greene King launch their St Edmunds for England campaign in Bury to try and reinstate St Edmund and get a bank holiday in November. - Credit: Archant

He’s the saint that’s been bumped-off twice.

Radio Suffolk presenter Mark Murphy next to the statue of St Edmunds

Radio Suffolk presenter Mark Murphy next to the statue of St Edmunds

After being shot full of Viking arrows and beheaded, St Edmunds suffered the indignity of being replaced as the patron saint of England some 400 years later.

Now brewers in Bury St Edmunds, the hometown and alleged resting place of the ancient King of East Anglia, hope to usurp St George and reinstate Edmund.

Greene King, one of west Suffolk’s biggest employers, hope an e-petition could even find its way to Parliament while sparking “fun and light-hearted banter” over the patron saint claim across the country.

Speaking about the ‘St Edmund for England’ campaign, Rooney Anand, chief executive officer of Greene King, said: “This is not an attack on St George or those that support him. It is a fun, yet serious attempt to reinstate England’s former patron saint and encourage the nation to celebrate on 20 November, instead of on 23 April.”


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The campaign, like a previous campaign in 2006, questions whether dragon-slayer George ever visited England and claims he has spread himself “a bit thin” as patron saint of 16 other countries.”

Mr Anand said: “Greene King is a national pub retailer with its roots firmly in Bury St Edmunds, the resting place of St Edmund. So, what better ambassador for our original patron saint and what better way for communities up and down the country to have a bit of fun and light hearted banter over who should be our patron saint? Because as we all know, all the best debates are held, not in Parliament but in the local pub.”

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The campaign has been heavily backed by BBC Radio Suffolk.

Mark Murphy, mid morning presenter, said: “I am really thrilled that so many people are now supporting the campaign. I haven’t got anything against St George but let’s be honest he hasn’t really caught on has he? At BBC Radio Suffolk we tried originally to get St Edmund reinstated in 2006 and now I think the time is right to try again. With the support of so many people I think we can do it! I urge everyone to get involved. Let’s get St Edmund his old job back as the true and rightful patron saint of England. Come on England you can do it.”

Backing for the move has also come from Bury MP David Ruffley, the Dean of St Edmundsbury, Frances Ward, Bury St Edmunds Town Council, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and flag specialist, Bulstrodes.

To sign the epetition visit www.edmundforengland.co.uk. Follow the campaign on Twitter @TheSaintEdmund and on facebook www.facebook.com/StEdmundForEngland.

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