St Edmundsbury Cathedral Pews Offered to the Public

The Cathedral will be providing a more diverse space for services and events in 2024 with the arrival of new chairs in the Nave. They are one of the last Church of England cathedrals to replace their pews with chairs. The pews have been offered for sale to the public as part of a refurbishment project with the Cathedral’s partner on the project, Rough Stuff.

Because some of the larger pews will likely be too big for the average family home, and to be able to offer a piece of history to as many as possible and embody the re-use, recycle ethos, we’ve teamed up with Rough Stuff, who many from the town may know from the annual Christmas Market, to repurpose some of the larger pews into smaller pews and other items. Each new pew or piece will be branded to show its provenance. Excess wood will be made into chopping boards, coat racks and coasters with prices from £10.00, making it affordable for all.

Rough Stuff are based in Hemel Hempstead and specialise in creating new, useful items from oak furniture that is no longer fit for use or sought after. They work with both ex-prisoners and those still in prison (with workshops inside their partner prisons) to up skill workers, through HACRO – The Hertfordshire Association for the Care and Rehabilitation of Offenders. They also help with the social rehabilitation of ex-offenders with assisting the set-up of their own businesses.Anyone who may be interested in purchasing a refurbished pew is encouraged to visit and place an order online. Items will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.


Of the project, the Very Reverend Joe Hawes, Dean of St Edmundsbury, said, “We’re delighted to partner with Rough Stuff to give the local community a chance to take home a piece of the Cathedral. Their social action work is truly inspiring, and we believe they are the perfect partners for this project. I look to Gilbert Scott and Dykes Bower, great visionaries of St Edmundsbury Cathedral, and relish that we are embodying their vision with the arrival of our chairs. The Victorian’s retrofitted churches and cathedrals with pews that suited the society at the time, and now it’s time for us to do the same. By opening the Nave, we will have more space to welcome a variety of community events and installations.”