The view from St Mary’s – across the Great Churchyard to the Cathedral
Where is St Mary’s? Well, if you ever visit Bury St Edmunds, close to the Abbey Gardens and Angel Hotel – we are across the Great Churchyard from St Edmundsbury Cathedral. Some would say ‘in spitting’ distance’, though I’ve never tried it. ‘A stone’s throw’ would be probably more accurate, and once again, I couldn’t vouch for that either, both buildings possessing, as they do, some fine stained glass windows.
Talking of stained glass, St Mary’s lays claim to the largest West window for any Parish Church in England – it is simply stunning and well worth a visit.
I’m resisting the urge to present a travel guide here, there are so many better-informed people who have written at length about this building, but
I’ve had a few requests to give more info about St M’s including technical data about the organ. So here is the spec for all those who like this type of thing – and as one friend put it “I’m not so bothered about how it works, but I quite like the noise it makes!” (Thanks, J!)
It’s a pretty impressive-looking beast and is the instrument on which I ply my humble trade – and which I hope you shall get to know and love via these blog tales! Better still come and visit us, if you ask nicely at the visitors’ desk, they may even let you have a ‘toot’, especially if you pretend you have travelled a long way to get there.
But if you want to know more about its history, you can buy a very detailed guide written by Peter Tryon, (formerly D of M and Organist of St M’s), in the snappily-titled “The Organs and Organists of St Mary’s Church, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk: with memories of St Mary’s Choir written by former Choristers” – (try saying that in one breath).
That’s all for today, folks – More on the choirs next time.