Suffolk's cathedral nears completion

WITH building work at Suffolk's cathedral nearing its much-anticipated conclusion, scaffolding and fencing has been peeled back to reveal as yet unseen corners of the millennium project.

WITH building work at Suffolk's cathedral nearing its much-anticipated conclusion, scaffolding and fencing has been peeled back to reveal as yet unseen corners of the millennium project.

Every day finishing touches are being put to the new cloisters, Apostles' Chapel and Crypt Chapel at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds.

Yesterday, craftsmen working on the finely-polished Ancaster stone flooring to the cloisters were carefully placing the final pieces of paving.

The multi-million pound cathedral project - including the construction of the long-awaited 150ft crowning millennium tower - has renewed interest in traditional Suffolk building crafts such as pargeting and flint knapping.

For building works supervisor Horry Parsons it is a further honour to be called back from retirement for the final phase of the project, set to conclude in June 2008 when specially-bred St Edmund roses are to be planted in the cloister garden.

“There has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes but now the public are beginning to see the fruits of what we have been doing,” he said.

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“Soon we will have installed the disabled lifts, the lead guttering and the paving. For me it is unfinished business but we are really looking forward to showing the public what has been achieved.”

Sarah Friswell, visitor officer at the cathedral, said: “There are loads of new areas to discover. I still haven't seen all the new chapels and staircases and I haven't worked out how visitors are going to move around the cathedral yet.

“It is a very exciting time at the cathedral as the building is finished.”

The Very Revd Neil Collings , cathedral dean, welcomed the prospect of presiding over the completed cathedral: “One area I am particularly looking forward to seeing is the cloisters, which will be an extremely attractive and welcoming part of the cathedral.”

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