Cathedral Christmas tree features ‘messages of hope’ in difficult year

Charlotte Suckling and Megan Stevenson from Guildhall Feoffment School putting on the stars with Michelle Freeman of the...

Charlotte Suckling and Megan Stevenson from Guildhall Feoffment School putting on the stars with Michelle Freeman of the Crafty Foxes Picture: JO SWEETMAN - Credit: JO SWEETMAN

St Edmundsbury Cathedral’s Christmas tree now stands in its Nave adorned with special stars.

Megan Stevenson and Charlotte Suckling from Guildhall Feoffment School with Bury St Edmunds Town Councillor, Nicola...

Megan Stevenson and Charlotte Suckling from Guildhall Feoffment School with Bury St Edmunds Town Councillor, Nicola Iannelli-Popham Picture: JO SWEETMAN - Credit: JO SWEETMAN

As part of a community project led by the Crafty Foxes art group, the ceramic stars feature the public’s special memories of their time during the coronavirus lockdown earlier this year.

In total more than 200 stars were created and have already been used to decorate three trees around Bury St Edmunds, including the one on Angel Hill.

MORE: ‘Lovely’ goodwill gestures from children placed on town’s Christmas treeThe final tree to be decorated was the one at St Edmundsbury Cathedral – using decorations from Guildhall Feoffment Community Primary School in the town.

Michelle Freeman, of The Crafty Foxes, said: “This has been a lovely and very moving project with both children and adults happy to share their memories from their time during lockdown. It has been difficult year for so many but the project has given local residents something positive to focus on I am very grateful to all that have supported the Stars of 2020, with locality budgets or volunteer help.”

The tree at St Edmundsbury Cathedral being decorated with stars featuring people's lockdown memories Picture: JO SWEETMAN

The tree at St Edmundsbury Cathedral being decorated with stars featuring people's lockdown memories Picture: JO SWEETMAN - Credit: JO SWEETMAN

Pupils at three local schools - Guildhall Feoffment, St Edmund’s Catholic and Tollgate Primary schools - have been involved in the project, which was supported by locality budgets from Bury St Edmunds Town Council, West Suffolk and Suffolk County Councillors as well as funding from Our Bury St Edmunds and The Bury Society.

MORE: GALLERY: Christmas has begun in Bury St EdmundsSarah Friswell, PR, visits and volunteer manager at the cathedral, said: “We are delighted to see the cathedral tree decorated in such a meaningful way.


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“People visiting the cathedral over the coming weeks and for our Christmas services will be able to read these positive messages of hope in what has been such a difficult year.”

Banners near the trees will explain the project and all the messages created will be included as a word cloud in 2020.

Full details of the cathedral’s Christmas Services are available on the website here.

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