Patron saint bid could boost tourism

A BID to reinstate St Edmund as the nation's patron saint could help boost tourism across the region, experts have claimed.BBC Radio Suffolk and the EADT launched the We're Backing St Edmund campaign to get the East Anglian king St Edmund returned to his former position as the nation's patron saint.

A BID to reinstate St Edmund as the nation's patron saint could help boost tourism across the region, experts have claimed.

BBC Radio Suffolk and the EADT launched the We're Backing St Edmund campaign to get the East Anglian king St Edmund returned to his former position as the nation's patron saint.

The campaign - which would involve ousting St George - is continuing to gather pace, and now tourism bosses have raised the idea of creating a new visitor trail called the St Edmund Tour.

Scott Dolling, of the Suffolk Tourism Partnership, said: “St Edmund is definitely good news for Suffolk because he is another reason to visit the county.


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“His story is quite remarkable and we could develop a tour route which will give more reasons to choose Suffolk.

“It is not just about Bury - it will include east Suffolk. Interesting sites could include his pilgrimage sites and there is quite a buzz around his story, which is very interesting.

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“It wouldn't take much for a local theatre group to dramatise the Edmund story. For example we are seeing yet another resurgence of the Robin Hood story but here we have a new story with new characters. It is challenging but it could be quite powerful.”

Elsewhere in the country, celebrating the lives and history of native saints has already proved a useful tourism tool.

In Cornwall, the life of the county's patron saint St Piran, a travelling preacher who spread the word in Wales and Cornwall, is celebrated and forms an important of the tourism mix.

St Piran's Day - March 5 - is a popular event throughout the county for both residents and visitors and earlier this year Cornish MP Dan Rogerson asked the Government to make the day a public holiday in Cornwall to recognise the county's celebrations.

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