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Norwich Cathedral closed and parks empty on very different Easter Sunday

PUBLISHED: 15:42 12 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:57 12 April 2020

Norwich Cathedal closed because of coronavirus on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon Parkin

Norwich Cathedal closed because of coronavirus on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon Parkin

Archant

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.

Norwich Cathedal closed and deserted on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon ParkinNorwich Cathedal closed and deserted on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon Parkin

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.

Coronavirus closure notice at Norwich Cathedal. Picture: Simon ParkinCoronavirus closure notice at Norwich Cathedal. Picture: Simon Parkin

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.

Cathedal Close in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon ParkinCathedal Close in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon Parkin

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.

St Peter Mancroft closed to worshippers on Easter Sunday because of the coronvirus restrictions. Picture: Simon ParkinSt Peter Mancroft closed to worshippers on Easter Sunday because of the coronvirus restrictions. Picture: Simon Parkin

MORE: Lockdown leaves Norwich a ghost town on Easter bank holiday

Meanwhile 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.

Coronavirus notice at St Peter Mancroft which was closed to worshippers on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon ParkinCoronavirus notice at St Peter Mancroft which was closed to worshippers on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon Parkin

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.

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St Giles Church in Norwich closed to worshippers on Easter Sunday because of coronavirus restrictions. Picture: Simon ParkinSt Giles Church in Norwich closed to worshippers on Easter Sunday because of coronavirus restrictions. Picture: Simon Parkin

Eaton Park in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon ParkinEaton Park in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon Parkin

Eaton Park in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon ParkinEaton Park in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon Parkin

Eaton Park in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon ParkinEaton Park in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon Parkin

Mounted police were patrolling Eaton Park in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Brittany WoodmanMounted police were patrolling Eaton Park in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Brittany Woodman

Walks and cyclists on Riverside Walk in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon ParkinWalks and cyclists on Riverside Walk in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon Parkin

Overlooking Norwich Market on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon ParkinOverlooking Norwich Market on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon Parkin

Gentleman's Walk in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon ParkinGentleman's Walk in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon Parkin

The Forum in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon ParkinThe Forum in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon Parkin

St Peter Mancroft closed to worshippers on Easter Sunday because of the coronvirus restrictions. Picture: Simon ParkinSt Peter Mancroft closed to worshippers on Easter Sunday because of the coronvirus restrictions. Picture: Simon Parkin

Royal Arcade in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon ParkinRoyal Arcade in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon Parkin

Haymarket in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon ParkinHaymarket in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon Parkin

Norwich Castle Gardens on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon ParkinNorwich Castle Gardens on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon Parkin

Prince of Wales Road in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon ParkinPrince of Wales Road in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon Parkin

St Benedicts Street in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon ParkinSt Benedicts Street in Norwich on Easter Sunday. Picture: Simon Parkin


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