About

So, back in January 2011 a good friend of mine challenged me to lick every Anglican cathedral in the United Kingdom for a bet. Back then I had a whole 5 years in which to complete this bizarre task, although to make things more interesting Adam (my friend and challenger) later reduced the time limit to June 16th 2012.

In the beginning I naively believed that there were no Anglican cathedrals in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – how wrong I was! It turns out there are 42 in England and 20 more the rest of the U.K., something I later discovered to my horror. Consequently, Adam very graciously (or stupidly) agreed to give me a 6 month extension to do the other 20, providing that I lick all the ones in England before the original deadline of June 16th 2012. This, I am very pleased to say, was successfully completed on June 15th 2012 at my home cathedral of York Minster. I then embarked on my travels to the 20 other cathedrals and licked my last ever cathedral at St. Asaph, Wales, in December 2012 and thereby won the bet.

During the quest I traveled thousands of miles, spent stupid amounts of money and had some of the weirdest experiences of my life. At times it was a total pain in the arse; a crippling burden that robbed me of sleep and peace of mind. But there were  numerous positives: namely being able to travel and visit some of the most beautiful and fascinating buildings in the World. Cathedral history and architecture is great interest of mine and this turned out to be a rather odd pilgrimage for me. Needless to say, it wasn’t all about the licking.

I must stress that disrespect towards these cathedrals, plus the Anglican Church and its followers, is in no way intended through my actions. Although not a Christian myself I do respect other people’s beliefs and places of worship and would never dream of trying to offend anyone. Hopefully this blog will help to promote the outstanding cathedrals we have in this country, many of which are currently suffering financially and need thousands of pounds a day just to keep their doors open. The thought of cathedrals such as Ely, Lincoln and Wells closing almost brings tears to the eyes.

My travels, experiences and taste reviews will all be kept on this blog. Happy reading!

Lawrence

 

21 responses to “About

  1. Alastair

    I don’t mean to make things MUCH more difficult for you, but why isn’t St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, included? It is Church of Ireland, a branch of the Anglican faith of the UK (and to clarify “UK” just read the front of your passport – “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”)

    • Hi Alastair,

      You’ve reminded me that I need to update my “About” section, so thank you! I am aware of St. Anne’s and have added it to my licking map. The terms of the bet have changed a little recently so I will update some of the info. Thanks for pointing this out!

  2. Louise

    I very much admire your licking antics and will be following your moves with interest. Well done on an impressive feat so far!

  3. Lea

    Hi! If the bet ever extends to licking all the cathedrals in the Commonwealth, I’d be happy to house/drive you in Australia for the Queensland leg. I think what you’re doing is fantastic.

    • Hi Lea, thank you very much. Your Commenwealth suggestion is a superb idea! I had thought about doing all the cathedrals in Scandinavia, but why not go even further afield? Thanks for your support!

  4. Jennifer

    Hi Lawrence, I work for the Surrey Advertiser in Guildford and I would like your contact number to do a story about your licking antics, including some photos of you in the town please. You can DM me @Jen_Maxfield if you do not wish to post your number on here. Thank you in advance. Jennifer

  5. Bharati

    Hello Lawrence, I am trying to get in touch with you regarding an interview. Please could you email me contact details at bharati.naik@turner.com. Thanks.

  6. Dear Sir Lawrence Edmond,

    We have been informed about your noteworthy passion for Cathedral-Licking.
    We are a non-profit organization based in Laives, Bolzano and we are writing to you on behalf of the Città di Laives Award Committee. Our mission is to discover passionate people and to enhance their passion. To do so, we created the first European Award for Passion, this year in its second edition.
    Meeting passionate people is not always easy. For this reason we have invited people to tell us about anyone with a remarkable passion.
    By means of this letter, we would like to invite you to enter the competition.
    Participation is easy and free. You only need to fill in the pre-application form on our website (www.lifelongpassionsaward.eu) within October 16th, 2012 and send to our office the documents describing your passion. Thirteen awards and a total prize money of 26,000 euros are waiting for you. The projects is totally funded by public bodies as a part of a wider program for the enhancement of human passions. The whole initiative is absolutely free from any commercial speculation.
    Please find the official call for entries on our website http://www.lifelongpassionsaward.eu
    We would be very grateful and honored if you could accept our invitation and share your passion with us. For any further information, please contact Cristina Natalicchio – 0039 0471 956203 or send an e-mail to: info@lifelongpassionsaward.eu
    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    Best regards,

    Denis Isaia, Artistic Director of the Award
    Giorgio Cattelan, President of Città di Laives Award Committee

  7. I´m Carolina Bejarano, journalist from W radio Colombia, http://www.wradio.com.co an international radio station, 15 countries around the world listen us.
    We would like to do an interview with you, today july 24, we know… about the bet that you did with your friend about lick Cathedrals. We are so interested to talk a few minutes ago with you in oir radio show. The interview will be alive, by phone. We’ll call you to some phone number that you send us. A few months ago, we had the opportunity to talk with Mr president Obama, so our guests are so special for us and the world.

    I´ll be waiting your reply, We’ll hope have a fun time with you, just a little time, if you don’t have much time…

    Thanks for your atention,

    Best Regards.

    CAROLINA BEJARANO
    carito.bejarano@gmail.com

  8. Hi Lawrence!
    I’ve just been reading Love It…great piece on you!
    And I’d like to join the people clamouring for an interview, for the Sunday Sun based in Newcastle if that’s ok with you? Can you possibly email me to let me know? coreena.ford@ncjmedia.co.uk.
    Hope to hear from you soon!

  9. Donna

    Hi I read your story in real life, I am from northern Ireland and my name is Donna, any help you need to visit the 3 lol Anglican cathedrals over here I am here if you need even a lift to each of them which is a few hours only lol!!! offer is there as I’m sure it could be very daunting in a totally strange place travelling from one end of it to another although honestly im just a thoughtful person totally uncrazy haha, I am married with two kiddies and just thought u might appreciate a hand.

    • Oh wow, thanks Donna, that’s really kind! I don’t have any settled plans for Northern Ireland yet; my girlfriend’s brother is maybe going to drive me around but we haven’t decided yet so will let you know. I think Clogher might be quite tricky to get to, do you know it?

  10. Emma Lucy

    Lawrence, what can I say – I’ve just found myself on your blog thanks to a rather fortuitous and not completely related google search, and I am amazed! At the moment I’m writing my (exceptionally dreadful) creative writing dissertation, which is supposed to be about a 13th Century female stonemason and her 21st Century counterpart of sorts, so to literally stumble upon this is fantastic! It’s always great to find people as interested in cathedral architecture as yourself. I’m very new to this game, having only become obsessed by cathedrals since watching and reading Ken Follett’s amazing Pillars of The Earth two years ago (I’m trying not to plagiarise that wonderful book wholesale for my coursework atm!). Your cathedral-licking quest is absolutely epic. I only wish I’d found out about this sooner! Congrats on completing the English part, and best of luck with completing the rest!

    • Thanks Emma. I look forward to seeing one of your books in the shops soon! Haven’t read Game of Thrones yet, it might be useful for the book I am writing too. Good luck with the dissertation!

  11. Bernard

    Greetings from Belgium! You made it to the site of the VRT, the Flemish Radio and Television… ( http://www.deredactie.be )
    My question: are you in any way inspired by Ron Obvious? (The fictional character from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, who wanted to EAT Chichester Cathedral??)

  12. You leg……waitforit…..end! (Being a bit naughty at work and found this on my lunch break – nearly an hour and a half later, and I’m still here….!) Anywhoo, A couple of giggles I managed to hide (I hope!). Just thought I’d wish you luck on the remaining cathedrals to tick/lick off. Brilliant, silly idea, but I love it! :D

  13. Maria

    Hello Lawrence,
    I’m so fond about British cathedrals. it’s so nice to know there are people who visited them all :)
    I have seen 22 in England and several in Scotland and Ireland.
    In some of them (Salisbury, York, Canterbury) I was several times.
    I’d like to experience more Lincoln, Durham, Hereford and Worcester. Too little time was spent there…
    Anyway, thank you for promoting the greatest buildings in the country in your own special way!

  14. Greeting Lawrence,
    Congratulations on finishing this amazing task. Do you have any plans to continue this tradition while on holiday, say in the Cathedrals of the Episcopal Church or the other Cathedrals of the Anglican Communion? Should you make it to St. John’s Cathedral in Los Angeles, I would certainly enjoy being there to cheer you on.

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