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St Edmundsbury Cathedral criticised for hosting upcoming 29th East Anglian Beer and Cider Festival

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A Bury St Edmunds man is calling for the top men at St Edmundsbury Cathedral to resign after agreeing to host a beer and cider festival on the site.

Christopher John Brett, a practising Christian from Southgate Street, says he is appalled the 29th East Anglian Beer and Cider Festival, between August 25 and 30, will be staged there.

He said: “Do they realise how many lives alcohol has destroyed? Homes and families wiped out and the cathedral is holding this, outrageous.”

St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds.
St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds.

Some of Christopher’s friends and family are also upset about it too.

He said: “The bishop and dean should resign. Jesus cleansed the temple, we need the cathedral cleansed, those in charge should go and be told about the lives destroyed in Britain due to alcohol.”

The Dean of St Edmundsbury, the Very Reverend Joe Hawes, said beer and wine-making had a long history in monasteries and Benedictine abbeys such as the one founded in the town more than 1,000 years ago.

He said: “Following that tradition but as a responsible institution, St Edmundsbury Cathedral accepts drinking in moderation.

"Cathedrals are first and foremost places of worship and pilgrimage, so hosting this beer festival is a 'first' for an English cathedral, though other churches have already held similar events.

"St Edmundsbury Cathedral is also at the heart of the community, serving the people of Bury St Edmunds and the county of Suffolk. At the core of its values are welcome and hospitality, key Benedictine virtues.

"As the country emerges from the pandemic, the cathedral is looking to attract new visitors to its beautiful spaces and the beer festival offers such an opportunity, showcasing and celebrating some of our great regional beers and ciders, as well as offering an exciting entertainment programme.

"The cathedral and beer festival organisers have worked closely together to offer what it is hoped will be an excellent event in a unique setting.”

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