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Ely Cathedral


Joyfully proclaiming the love of God in worship, outreach, welcome and care. 

Thousands of visitors come to Ely Cathedral each year, from all over the world. Few are ever disappointed, for there is something here for everyone. Lovers of architecture will rejoice in the many different styles, blending to make the whole. History abounds around every corner, and the beauty created by artists in wood, stone and glass is everywhere.

The Dean's Welcome

Welcome to Ely Cathedral's website which I hope will give you a glimpse of the wonder and glory that Ely Cathedral has to offer.

Even in our secular times, the praises of God resound through the Cathedral every day. It is the mother church of the Diocese of Ely, which covers some 1,500 square miles of East Anglia.

Worship has been offered to Almighty God on this site for nearly 1400 years and the Cathedral continues to be a dynamic witness to the presence of God in the world, and of his love and care for each and every one of us.

The Cathedral was founded as a monastery in 673 by St. Etheldreda, a Saxon Princess from East Anglia, the site of whose shrine is in front of the High Altar. Destroyed by the Danes in 870, the monastery was re-founded as a Benedictine community in 970.

Work on the present building commenced in the early 1080's under Abbot Simeon. The monks knew that only the best can ever be good enough to offer to God. They built this massive church as an offering to him, and the worship that has been offered here ever since is an echo in words and music of their practical work as builders.

It is a place made holy by the associations of the centuries, and a place where today, you can be quiet and meet God our creator. It became a Cathedral - the seat of the Bishop - in 1109. Henry VIII closed the monastery in 1539 but it has continued to exist as a Cathedral to the present day.

You will find a warm welcome here reflecting the hospitality and welcome of our Benedictine forebears and more importantly reflecting the welcome that God gives to us all in Jesus Christ.

A prayer for the strategic work of the Cathedral and the Diocese

We praise and thank you, God of the journey, for all your gifts to us in the past.
We look to you as fellow-traveller and faithful companion on the way ahead.
Shelter and protect us from all harm and anxiety:
give us grace to let go of all that holds us back
and grant us courage to meet the new life you have promised us in Jesus Christ our Lord.

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The Dean - The Very Revd Mark Bonney Enlarge

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The Octagon Tower Enlarge

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The Lady Chapel Enlarge