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Join £1,000 for 1,000 Challenge!

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 Abbey 1000 celebrations were due to take place in 2020 but have been moved to 2022 due to Covid.

The Abbey 1000 Group, which is made up of organisations in the town organising the celebrations, alongside the Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership, are encouraging community groups to join in and challenging them to raise £1,000 for a good cause of their choice whilst organising their own celebration. 

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.

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 (but please follow national regulations for Covid)...

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 2022 - do you like to get your steps in? Why not set yourself or your family a target and walk 1,000 steps every day in 2022 when the celebrations are now due to take place. 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 celebration of 1000 years of our Abbey, staff at Oakes Barn Pub in Bury St Edmunds spent the winter 2020/21 lockdown using their daily exercise to clock up a collective 1,000 miles walking and running to raise money for St Nicholas Hospice Care.

1000 years since the founding of the Abbey of St Edmund will be marked with a year of celebrations in 2022. Find out more with our 'Abbey of St Edmund 1000 Guide!


 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 bejeweled 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 2022 including a special sculpture exhibition telling the story of St Edmund and the Abbey within the Abbey ruins and an exhibition of manuscripts from the Abbey. A spectacular light display event marking St Edmund’s Day Weekend in November 2022, 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.

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