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Ely Catherdral


For the first time Ely Cathedral is to receive the National Harvest Torch at the Harvest Festival Songs of Praise which takes place on Sunday 14 October at 4pm where the Torch will formally be presented to the Dean of Ely by former Cathedral chorister, Thomas Allen.

The torch is part of the National Bring Home the Harvest Campaign which aims to encourage more people to get involved with local harvest celebrations. Made by a master black smith and covered with apples and fronds of wheat to symbolise the harvest. The initial Service introducing the Torch was held in Westminster Abbey in 2013. Since then the torch has travelled across the UK to be hosted by Cathedrals. The initiative is supported by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall as patron. The Harvest Torch will reside in Ely 2019 and will be on display over the Harvest weekend.

There is plenty to see and do at the Cathedral over Harvest including a spectacular array of food and floral displays whilst sheep, supplied by farmers from Rampton, will be taking up temporary residence inside the Cathedral over the weekend. Other exhibitors include Cambridgeshire Beekeepers, Farmland Museum at Denny Abbey, G's, the Cathedral Flower Guild, Tompsett Growers Ltd and Cambridge-based research organisation NIAB. The Lady Chapel will be hosting activities for children on the Saturday.

NFU County Chairman Nigel Rome said: "This event is always a fantastic shop window for food and farming and it promises to be as good as ever this year. It's a welcome opportunity for farmers and growers join forces with the local community to celebrate the harvest and the very best of food and farming in Cambridgeshire."

Ely Cathedral Harvest celebrations take place between Friday 12 and Sunday 14 October. For full details please visit the Cathedral website. The harvest festival exhibits are available to view from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 13 October and 12.30pm to 4pm on Sunday 14 October. Admission to the Cathedral is free on both days.

On Monday 15 October the best of the produce will be sold off at 9.30am inside the Cathedral, with money raised going to this year's chosen charity, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Rural Support Group.


For further information contact Director of Communications , Lesley Ann Thompson 07930 918885

Image - Arthur McClelland, member of the Ely Cathedral Harvest committee and the Bishop of Ely with the Harvest Torch (Ely Cathedral Image Library)

Notes to the Editor

Ely Cathedral

Highly regarded by historians and architects from all over the world for its beauty and size, Ely Cathedral is widely acknowledged as 'one of the wonders of the Medieval world'. Visible for miles around, the Cathedral is often referred to as 'The Ship of the Fens'.

The present building dates from 1081 and is a remarkable example of both Romanesque and Norman architecture. In addition to its unique Octagon Tower and magnificent Lady Chapel, Ely has the third longest nave of any UK Cathedral. The Cathedral's role today is not so far removed from its days as a Benedictine monastery and offers regular daily worship with a special emphasis on choral music. It still maintains a resident choir of 22 choristers and 6 lay clerks and so continues the tradition of choral evensong every day of the week during term time.

As well as being a major visitor attraction, the Cathedral serves as a cultural focal point for East Anglia by providing a unique venue for the arts and music, for exhibitions, lectures, concerts and theatre. Most recently Ely has gained global recognition a prominent film location including Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Other Boleyn Girl, Macbeth, The King's Speech and The Crown.