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St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds offering exclusive tours

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St Edmundsbury Cathedral is drawing upon the knowledge of experts to bring new exclusive tours to members of the public.

The ‘Cathedral Treasures’ guided tours, which started on Monday, give visitors access to a unique collection of books in the Ancient Library and a number of artefacts from churches across Suffolk, including a replica of the Bury Cross, in the Treasury.

When coronavirus restrictions are lifted, a maximum of 10 people will be allowed on each tour. For now, just six are allowed per session.

Sarah Friswell, visitor experience manager at the cathedral, said: “We thought, people are wanting extra, we are all doing these staycations, we all need to have a good experience on our doorstep, we’ve got wonderful things to show people here, so lets try and encourage people to come.

“That’s why we came up with this model of exclusive tours.”

Volunteer historians with years of knowledge are on hand to give expert insight into the artefacts in each room, and answer any questions visitors may have.

One of those is Stephen Dart, a guide for the Ancient Library, who has spent over 10 years researching its books.

Another is Steve Ruthen, of Lowestoft, who is a guide for the Treasury.

The new tours start at the back end of coronavirus, a challenging period for the cathedral, although Sarah said she and her team were just happy to be getting back to some form of normality.

“The fact that we are open every day now and visitors can come, and even though it’s not quite how we’d like it to be, there is still a valid experience and it’s fantastic to see people here,” she said.

If you are interested in going on one of the tours, email: visits@stedscathedral.org.

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