Hail St Edmund, Patron Saint of Suffolk
St Edmund, Patron Saint of Suffolk
A campaign for St Edmund to replace St George as England's representative may have been turned down by Downing Street, but Suffolk can now boast the Anglo Saxon King as its very own patron saint.
BBC Radio Suffolk and The East Anglian Daily Times have been campaigning for St Edmund to be reinstated as England's patron saint and took a petition to 10 Downing Street and the House of Commons.
The British government declined to relieve Saint George of his title but, knowing a good thing when they see it, Suffolk County Council has now stepped in. Council leader Jeremy Pembroke has agreed to officially adopt St Edmund as the patron saint of Suffolk.
"If the country don't want him the county does," Mr Pembroke said.
St Edmund being named patron saint of Suffolk is the high point of a successful campaign which was launched by Breakfast show presenter Mark Murphy and producer Emily Fellows in the autumn of 2006. St Edmund was originally the English patron saint but was ousted by St George.
Mark says he has nothing against St George but believes the dragon slayer hasn't really caught on in the way other saints such as St Patrick have.
The St Edmund petition arrives in London
Since the campaign was launched, a St Edmund flag has been produced and flown from flagpoles across Suffolk, Bury St Edmunds brewers Greene King produced a St Edmund ale and One railway named one of its trains St Edmund.
The St Edmund campaign has been featured on numerous television and radio programmes up and down the land. Radio 4's Today programme, Five Live breakfast and the Chris Moyles breakfast show on Radio 1 all featured the story.
The Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley also took up the cause and helped deliver the massive petition to London.
St Edmunds day is now firmly in the Suffolk calendar and from now our very own county saint will be remembered and celebrated on 20 November.
last updated: 26/06/2008 at 11:50
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