We have an important role to play in promoting green practice and demonstrating a commitment to environmental action. This is so important to us in fact, that it is a core part of our ten year Master Plan.


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.


Late in 2021, we were awarded a Silver Eco Award from A Rocha. They, in partnership with Christian Aid, the Church of England, the Methodist Church, Tear Fund and the United Reformed Church, have created Eco Church project which encourages churches to care for creation as an integral part of loving their neighbours and following God faithfully.


The award looks at five areas:

  • Worship and teaching
  • Management of church buildings
  • Management of church land
  • Community and global engagement
  • Lifestyle


We’re now working towards our Gold Eco Award.


Eco St Eds updates


Find out more about some of our Eco St Eds initiatives below.

Climate and Sustainability Emergency

The Chapter of St Edmundsbury Cathedral fully recognises the reality of the current climate and environmental emergency. This emergency crisis stems from the failure of humans, both in the way we live and the way we run our businesses and institutions, to be stewards of God’s creation. The effects of our failure will result in an unsustainable future.


Our Master Plan and Climate Statement set out our aspirations to reduce our carbon footprint in line with Church of England policy. We are on a journey which began several years ago, using A Rocha’s Environmental Award self-evaluation process. We have so far achieved A Rocha’s Bronze and Silver Awards and working towards Gold.


We pledge to:

  • Reduce the carbon footprint of our buildings and work towards being a carbon neutral organisation by 20230
  • Minimise our corporate impact on the environment, and work towards more sustainable practices
  • Reduce our consumption of resources and improve the efficiency of those resources
  • Manage waste generated from our operations according to the principles of reduction, re-use and recycling
  • In any building or development projects make carbo n neutrality a key priority
  • Take care of the natural environment and biodiversity in the grounds of our Cathedral and portfolio properties
  • Encourage our community to make lifestyle changes to be more sustainability focused
  • Use our influence to encourage positive action by local government, business and other organisations.
  • Invest responsibly and ensure our investments reflect the ethical values held by the Cathedral. We will not knowingly invest in fossil fuels nor invest in/accept donations from any business or organisation that profits from harming our planet.
The Yard

The Yard

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 and a relaxed atmosphere that takes things at each young person’s pace, has proved particularly positive for our young visitors.


Feedback consistently shows that their wellbeing improves after time spent at The Yard. Responses to our wellbeing surveys this summer showed that 80% of young people’s mood and wellbeing increased after their visit and 20% showed no change but started with a ‘really good’ or ‘fantastic’ mood to begin with. We are also seeing other benefits such as learning new skills, increased confidence and learning to make decisions.


Here’s what some of our young visitors have said:


“I love going to the Yard because it’s outside in the fresh air and we do activities like gardening and DIY. It makes me feel relaxed, I like going somewhere in the holidays, so I’m not bored, I like to use my brain and not get bored on my phone or x box.


“I felt comfortable at the Yard, it was something to do. I like to express myself by doing things I like. I’d love it if we can do it again.


“I like the surroundings, the old building, and the Cathedral. I’d like to do some outdoor cooking please.”


The Yard runs free, pre-booked activity sessions during holidays funded by the Holiday and Activities Food Programme (HAF) (for young people whose families are eligible for free school meals or have an identified need). Activities take place outside and have a strong eco focus, for example gardening, making pebble mosaics to decorate The Yard, making bug houses and cooking air-fry chips with potatoes grown in The Yard or trying outdoor vegetarian cooking on the fire pit. For 2023, we will be working in partnership with local youth providers to arrange for young people to visit during term time, to support their mental health and wellbeing.


Check out our What’s On page to see what activities are coming up in The Yard, click here.


We’d like to thank our partners who are helping us keep The Yard evolving in 2023:

  • Co-op Community Cares Fund
  • The Lord Belstead Charitable Settlement
  • The Suffolk Public Mental Health programme COVID Memorialisation grant
  • West Suffolk Council Locality budget
  • Sue and James Cockram
  • Holiday Activities & Food Programme, delivered through West Suffolk Council