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Man has 42 English cathedrals licked

29 June 2012

WORCESTER was "exceedingly gritty and salty" and Durham was "disappointingly bland", but none came close to the horror of the "foul, sickly sweet" Wakefield.

When Lawrence Edmonds agreed to a bet to lick every Anglican cathedral in the UK, he had little idea of what taste to expect. After travelling more than 5000 miles on his quest, which began in January last year, he has become quite the connoisseur.

"Not only is Lichfield Cathedral quite tasty: it is also an incredibly attractive building," he writes on his blog, which is a testament to his appreciation of ecclesiastical architecture as much as its flavour. Mr Lawrence, a 26-year-old employee of English Heritage, said that he was stunned by the "complex and beautiful" fan-vaulting at Gloucester Cathedral, and moved by the way in which he sensed that Coventry Cathedral "exudes an atmosphere of forgiveness" ("I just hope that that they will forgive me for licking it").

Apart from encounters with burly security men, bemused tourists ("If you can count on one nationality to be up for taking a photo of you licking an ecclesiastical building, it's the Dutch") and an unimpressed attendant at Chelmsford, Mr Edmonds hopes that his endeavours will help "promote the outstanding cathedrals we have in this country".

Having safely licked all 42 cathedrals in England - Mr Edmonds "tongued" York Minster this month - he has until 16 December to tackle the 20 in the rest of the UK. The author of the bet, his flatmate, Adam Drury, is hoping that the Cathedral of the Isles, on the Isle of Cumbrae, proves a bridge too far. If Mr Edmonds succeeds, Mr Drury will pay the forfeit of a streak outside York Minster on a cold winter's day.

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