St Edmundsbury Cathedral plays a significant role in the community we serve. It is our aim to be a centre for learning, both for the Christian faith and beyond. We want to be increasingly outward looking while remaining committed to helping towards a more caring and just society, both locally and further afield. We want to make home, magnify joy and confront suffering.


With this in mind, we have key areas of concentration. These areas are where we are currently focusing our social action projects and where we hope to grow our mission.


  • Social Mission: Providing a safe, welcoming place to anyone who needs one
  • Mission through Music: Transforming children’s lives, especially those who otherwise might not have had access to musical training, through singing in our cathedral choir and our school outreach programme
  • Mission through Sustainability: Maintaining our ancient buildings and grounds, creating lasting local partnerships and working towards a net zero environmental goal to ensure St Edmundsbury Cathedral is preserved for future


Each of these areas inform who we work with and how we engage in projects to best serve our community.

Social Mission

At the core of our social mission is providing a safe, welcoming place to anyone who needs one. This includes vulnerable members of our community, those who have historically been excluded and those who may not consider themselves as having faith.


Hope into Action

We are proud to be a Church Partner of Hope into Action, a registered national charity founded in 2010 whose unique purpose is to enable churches to house the homeless. St Edmundsbury Cathedral provides a home, Grace House, for a family who need help getting back on their feet. Throughout their stay, the Cathedral provides support and community.


Dementia Friendly Cathedral

We are working towards becoming a Dementia Friendly Cathedral and offer dementia friendly signage and tailored tours. Our Together on Tuesdays monthly, informal communion service for anyone who might find a longer service difficult, but still enjoys singing and praising God.


The Yard

An eco-project for young people, The Yard has been designed to offer a safe space where young people can come and spend time, learn new skills, meet new friends and improve their mental health, wellbeing and resilience. The calm and peaceful location of the Yard, combined with small group sizes has proved particularly positive for our young visitors.


Bury St Edmunds for Black Lives

We have been working with Bury St Edmunds for Black Lives for the past year to help develop their anti-racism work in schools. The organisation has been working with children and staff across Suffolk schools to support them in combating racism through educating students and teachers on the impact that prejudice, stereotyping and bias has on minority students.


Inclusive Church and Open Table

We are an Inclusive Church, that celebrates and affirms every person and does not discriminate. We have recently also become part of the Open Table Network, a growing partnership of communities which welcome and affirm people who are LGBTQIA.


Ukraine Community

We work with the displaced Ukraine community in Bury St Edmunds and beyond to provide a place of worship for their important religious festivals, such as Christmas and Easter.

Mission Through Music

Music is central to the life of St Edmundsbury Cathedral. Our choirs enrich our worship across at least six weekly services. Many children across Bury St Edmunds and beyond experience the joy of singing through our work, either as Choristers in the renowned Cathedral Choir or through our work with schools in the area.


The majority of services at St Edmundsbury Cathedral are led by the Cathedral Choir, which consists of 40 boy and girl Choristers aged 7-14 and a team of around 12 adult singers. They sing at five choral services per week: Evensong on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, and Eucharist on Sunday mornings.


Singing Schools

An essential part of the Music Department’s work is Singing Schools, our project which builds links with primary schools in and around Bury St Edmunds to support and encourage singing. It also gives school children the opportunity to find out more about becoming a Cathedral Chorister. Our dream is to give every child in Bury St Edmunds the opportunity to experience singing and to give them a chance to do so in the magnificent surroundings of the Cathedral.


The department visits each school for a series of weekly workshops to work with the pupils on singing technique as well as helping them to learn two or three songs. Sometimes, this will culminate in a performance at the Cathedral.

Kagera Crib Figures 2021 Angels 3 copy

Mission through Sustainability

By looking at our environmental impact as well how we work with our local partners, we can work towards our overarching goals of being the centre of our community. This includes maintaining our ancient buildings and grounds to ensure St Edmundsbury Cathedral is preserved for future


Eco St Eds

Our commitment to environmental action is why we founded our Eco St Eds working group. We need to ensure the continuing sustainability of the cathedral foundation for years to come and we want to be firmly on the path towards being carbon neutral by 2030. In 2021, we were awarded a Silver Eco Award from A Rocha’s Eco Church project.



Our diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich has close ties with churches across the world, but most especially with the Diocese of Kagera in West Tanzania. Kagera is a beautiful and inaccessible region in the northwest part of Tanzania in one of the poorest areas of the country. Most of its two million people live on less than a pound a day. In recent years rains have become unpredictable, leading to crop failures and food shortages.



We’re pleased to hold the status of a ‘Fairtrade Cathedral’. Fairtrade raises awareness of the situation for farmers and manufacturers across the world and challenges injustices. Fairtrade connects disadvantaged farmers and workers with consumers, promote fairer trading conditions and empower farmers and workers to combat poverty.


Charitable Giving

We are committed to regular missionary giving to support local charities in the work they do in our community. Regularly, we invite local, Suffolk based charities to apply for a small amount of money to help with their mission.


Foodbank Support

Our congregation supports Gatehouse and Storehouse, two widely used food banks in the area, with monthly donations