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Join £1,000 for 1,000 Challenge to Celebrate Abbey's Anniversary!

To celebrate the 1000 year anniversary of the founding of the Abbey of St Edmund in Bury St Edmunds, local companies, schools and community groups are being challenged to raise £1000 for 1000.

The campaign has been launched by the Abbey 1000 Group, which is made up of organisations in the town, alongside the Abbey Heritage Partnership. 

People are being encouraged to raise £1,000 for the anniversary year’s charities, which are St Nicholas Hospice Care, St Elizabeth Hospice and EACH (East Anglian Children’s Hospices).

Rev Canon Matthew Vernon, from St Edmundsbury Cathedral and Vice Chair of The Abbey 1000 Group, said: “We are asking people to hold their own events and activities in the community to mark this historic anniversary and raise money for our wonderful local hospices.

“Whether it is a series of coffee mornings, a sponsored walk or run, a street party, an art exhibition, concert or a year of fundraising activities, we want people to have fun and celebrate the Abbey, the wonderful Abbey Gardens and Bury St Edmunds.

“The monks offered medical care for the sick and dying in the Abbey of St Edmund. We think it’s very fitting that we raise money for our local hospices who do fantastic and vital work supporting people at the end of their life, and their relatives and friends in our local communities in this anniversary year.”

Ideas for Fundraising

Get involved by organising your own event or activity to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of the Abbey of St Edmund and raise £1,000 to celebrate 1,000 years! We've put together some ideas for you to get you started...

Run 1,000 miles or kilometres - in one go or in stages throughout the year! Gather a group 1,000 runners and do a mile each with sponsorship!

Put on an art exhibition - the Abbey of St Edmund and the story of Saint Edmund provide rich subject matter for artists and budding artists. Why not challenge your school, organisation or network to produce something very special and hold an exhibition to raise funds?

Host an anniversary dinner - why not host a fundraising dinner or lunch to celebrate the abbey's special year. You could throw in an auction to boost your fundraising!

Performance art - The story of Saint Edmund has courage, drama, and intrigue - all great themes for performance art whether it be drama, music, poetry or mime! 

Walk 1,000 steps every day of 2020 - do you like to get your steps in? Why not set yourself or your family a target and walk 1,000 steps every day. Any days you miss just add them on the next day! For extra motivation get sponsored for your efforts so you're keeping fit and raising money! 

Saint Edmund Coffee Morning - raise a cup of coffee to Saint Edmund at a series of fundraising coffee mornings. We can see Edmund biscuits and cakes being very popular in 2020!

 The Abbey of St Edmund

In 1020, King Canute had a stone church built for Saint Edmund's body and 13 Benedictine monks from St Benet’s Abbey at Hulme in Norfolk and seven from Ely arrived. This was the beginning of the Abbey of St Edmund, 1000 years ago, and it became a site of great pilgrimage as people from all over the world came to visit St Edmund’s shrine. The great Abbey Church would later be built on the site and then consecrated in 1095 with the bejewelled shrine of St Edmund standing behind the high altar.

Today, the Abbey remains are extensive and include the complete 14th century Abbeygate and Norman Tower, as well as the impressive ruins and altered west front of the immense church, St Mary's Church and parts of St Edmundsbury Cathedral. They are surrounded by the beautiful Abbey Gardens, an award-winning 14-acre park, and visited by 1.3 million people from all over the world every year.

Saint Edmund’s final resting place is a great mystery; some believe he is buried somewhere within the abbey precincts!

The Abbey’s 1000 year anniversary will be marked with a series of events and activities throughout 2020 including a procession of Benedictine Monks and Nuns and a special sculpture exhibition telling the story of St Edmund and the Abbey within the Abbey ruins. Plus, an exhibition of manuscripts from the Abbey, a fabulous family celebration event in the Abbey Gardens and a spectacular light display event marking St Edmund’s Day Weekend from 20-22 November, to name just a selection.

The celebrations are being coordinated by the Abbey 1000 Group, alongside the Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership

The group is made up of organisations in the town that include St Edmundsbury Cathedral, West Suffolk Council, Bury St Edmunds Town Council, Our Bury St Edmunds BID, Bury St Edmunds and Beyond, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Greene King, Treatt, The Bury Society, Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides, Ashtons Legal and St Edmund’s Church.

The headline sponsors for the anniversary celebrations are: Claas UKTreatt and Greene King.