Norwich Cathedral closed and parks empty on very different Easter Sunday
- Credit: Simon Parkin
Norwich Cathedral would normally welcome hundreds of worshippers, but with churches closed over Easter for the first time in hundreds of years Easter Sunday had a very different feel amid the coronavirus lockdown.
The building’s sturdy doors were closed and the cathedral precincts were deserted save for a few strolling families and cyclists.
Instead the Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges, celebrated a simple Eucharist from the Deanery on the YouTube channel, together with a short Easter Day message from the cathedral.
She said: “In these difficult and unusual times we must embrace new and inventive ways to celebrate this most special time in the Christian year.”
At 3pm Norwich Cathedral’s Easter Day Choral Evensong from 2017 was also broadcast on BBC Radio Three.
The doors were similarly closed at St John’s Cathedral, St Peter Mancroft, St Giles Church and other city churches where Easter worship could not take place.
The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, led Sunday service broadcast from an iPad in his kitchen hailing the “heroism” of front-line workers during the coronavirus outbreak. He normally preaches to 1,500 worshippers in Canterbury Cathedral.
MORE: Lockdown leaves Norwich a ghost town on Easter bank holidayMeanwhile the eerie feel of a city frozen in time saw streets in Norwich continue to be deserted with people seeming to be heeding the government’s advice to stay at home apart from an hour of exercise.
Despite glorious sunshine Eaton Park was largely free of people sunbathing with those enjoying its green spaces mainly joggers, cyclists and families using the empty space to walk well away from others.
Similarly on paths beside the river and on Mousehold Heath dog walkers and those enjoying an hour’s worth of fresh air were consciously observing social distancing with not many keen to linger.