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St Edmundsbury Cathedral chairs.png
St Edmundsbury Cathedral
St Edmundsbury Cathedral chairs.png
St Edmundsbury Cathedral
World News

Cathedral swaps Victorian pews for wooden individual chairs

by Kelly Valencia

St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, has officially swapped its Victorian pews for a “more practical” option.  

Known as the 'Edmund Chairs', the individual seats have been specially designed for the Cathedral and made from European oak. They are designed to link together and stack away.

The transition marks one of the final steps in the Cathedral's journey among Church of England cathedrals moving from pews to chairs.

Crafted by Luke Hughes & Co, the chairs were meticulously designed to harmonise with the cathedral's architecture while prioritising practicality and longevity.

The Very Rev Joe Hawes, Dean of St Edmundsbury, said: “We are thrilled to welcome the new chairs to the cathedral, and this is thanks to our New Chairs Appeal which allowed members of the cathedral community to purchase a new chair for the Nave.

“We are incredibly grateful for our congregation and the way they have embraced this change.

“Chairs were part of the original design concept of Stephen Dykes Bower when he began as cathedral architect in 1943 so to fulfil his vision for the cathedral 80 years later is a great thing.”

Moreover, the cathedral has collaborated with Rough Stuff, an organisation specialising in repurposing oak furniture, to transform the larger pews into smaller seating arrangements. The surplus wood will be used to craft various items such as chopping boards, coat racks, and coasters, available for purchase starting at £10.00.

Speaking of the partnership with Rough Stuff, Rev Hawes 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.”


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