Cathedral to become ‘real beacon of light’

THE tower of Suffolk’s cathedral is to be lit up to make it visible from the A14 at night, it has emerged.

The idea of lighting up the tower of St Edmundsbury Cathedral was revealed during last Friday’s visit by Prince Charles.

Cathedral Dean Rev Dr Frances Ward said the aim was to light the tower, which was only completed in 2005 as part of the cathedral’s Millennium Project, so it could be seen from the A14.

She said once lit, the tower would become “a real beacon of light”.

The cathedral, also known as the Cathedral Church of St James, already has up-lighting around its base. The extra lighting, however, would be focused on the tower.

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Cathedral spokeswoman Sarah Friswell yesterday said no decision had yet been made whether the tower would be lit from outside or inside.

The idea of lighting it from the inside came about as a result of work carried out last year on the vaulted ceiling.

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Mrs Friswell said while the workmen were working on the ceiling at night they were using lights.

This lighting, she said, generated a number of supportive and positive comments from members of the public.

“The lighting from the inside gave people a fabulous view,” she said.

“The idea of lighting the tower is something that has been talked about on and off over the years. It has been a hope and we want to look at it.

“It is certainly something that is on our radar and we had to wait until this stage to think about because of the other major projects [the installation of a new organ and the vaulted ceiling] we have had. Watch this space.”

A church has stood on the site of the cathedral since at least 1065, when St Denis’s Church was built within the precincts of the Abbey.

When the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich was created in 1914, St James’s Church was turned into the cathedral.

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