Torchlight tours and more as St Edmundsbury Cathedral announces a late night

Visitors will get a very special chance to explore St Edmundsbury Cathedral at night on Friday, October 21.

From 6.30pm to 9pm the cathedral will be open, free of charge, for visitors of all ages to explore the building and specifically, the creative and artistic inspiration that permeates the building.

There will be the opportunity to join torchlight tours from guides highlighting the artwork and architecture of the cathedral, or to follow an art trail to discover new treasures. Family activities will be available and those who are feeling artistic can contribute to an art project that will be displayed following the event. 

There will be Lego activities for the builders and a chance to sit on the Bishops’ Chair (or Cathedra) for a photo. Guests can sip on mulled wine or hot chocolate while they roam the aisles and there’ll be some free cookie treats for the early birds. 

Musical interludes will entertain throughout the evening and the event will conclude with Compline at 8.30pm, a special service, lasting about 20 minutes. This service used to be sung by monks in the Abbey of St Edmund.

In keeping with the art and creativity theme, there will be an artist in residence throughout the evening. Clint Rose, a woodcarver, will be working on a small carving, depicting Edmund and the Wolf for the benefit of St Edmund’s Catholic Church, Bury St Edmunds. The carving will be completed on November 19 when one of the final Abbey 1000 events, the celebration of a Civic Mass will be held in the church. 

There will also be an embroidery of the cathedral on display, which was stitched by members of STARS – Stitch and Textile Art in Suffolk. 

A photograph of the cathedral was taken and developed as a 35in x 25in photograph that was divided into 5in squares and then the squares were distributed to the members, who stitched their piece in their own style. When they were all finished the whole was re-assembled. 

Suffolk Art Society Art Exhibition will also begin the same evening in the South Aisle. The exhibition will continue until October 29.

Sarah Friswell, visitor experience manager, said: “We’re delighted to be holding another Cathedrals at Night event. By opening the doors a little later than usual, we hope to welcome both new visitors and people who know the space but want to see it in a new (lower) light. Our creativity theme also gives us the opportunity to showcase some of our beautiful works of art.”

Free tickets can be booked now, from this link: or via

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