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Norwich Cathedral sets out reopening plans

PUBLISHED: 08:09 06 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:09 06 June 2020

West front of Norwich Cathedral seen through the Erpingham Gate. Photograph: Norwich Cathedral/Bill Smith

West front of Norwich Cathedral seen through the Erpingham Gate. Photograph: Norwich Cathedral/Bill Smith

Norwich Cathedral © 2020

Preparations are underway to ensure Norwich Cathedral can begin opening its doors again for individual prayer and reflection.

Dean of Norwich Cathedral, Jane Hedges. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodDean of Norwich Cathedral, Jane Hedges. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Churches and cathedrals across England have been closed since March 23, with no date for reopening announced by the government.

The cathedral has announced that during its first phase of reopening it will be limiting the number of people inside at one time and implementing a one-way system.

Entry will be via the Hostry entrance and people will be asked to wash their hands with sanitiser on arrival, observe social distance and keep two metres apart and follow the one-way system around and exit via the south door.

With the exception of a very small number of seats, all areas accessible to the public have been cleared of chairs and leaflet stands to ensure that there is more space available for people to socially distance.

The Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges, said: “We know how important Norwich Cathedral is to so many people and we very much hope to reopen the Cathedral as soon as it is safe to do so. Safety remains our key priority and we will be continually reassessing the situation in the weeks ahead and listening to government advice.

“Our understanding is that there will be a phased approach to Churches reopening and that initially we may be allowed to open specifically for individual prayer. To prepare for this, we have been working with the Cathedral’s external health and safety adviser to create a safe, one-way route through the Cathedral for those wishing to visit for prayer or reflection. We look forward to the day when it is safe for us to begin to reopen the Cathedral to the public.

Many areas such as the chapels, choir stalls and presbytery will be cordoned off and its shop, café and cloisters will remain closed. There will also be no toilet facilities available during the first phas of reopening.

Visitors will be able to light a candle in the nave.

Rev Jane Hedges said; “Public services are still unable to take place in the Cathedral, but the Cathedral’s Clergy are, in safe ways, continuing the Cathedral’s traditional daily rhythm of worship.

“In the meantime, the Cathedral website continues to have all the details on how you can join in with our digital worship from home.”


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