Norwich Cathedral – more than meets the eye
Norwich’s iconic cathedral is a very impressive medieval building, and even more than just a wonderful place to worship. Tony Rothe spoke to The Reverend Canon Andrew Bryant, Canon for Mission & Pastoral Care, at the recent Royal Norfolk Show to find out more.
Norwich Cathedral was started in 1096, although the current spire, which at 315 feet is the second highest in England, dates from 1480. The cathedral boasts the second largest cloisters in England, only outsized by Salisbury Cathedral. The cathedral close is one of the largest in Europe and has more people living within it than any other close.
Many people visit just to marvel at the grand architecture – it was constructed from Caen limestone imported from France – but it offers the local community and visitors so much more.
“This is everyone’s space, and we are all about engaging with the community” explained Andrew Bryant. “People need a sacred space, a quiet place where they can rest, relax, even play, and perhaps light a candle. We have Day Chaplains, trained in mental health, who will talk with people if they wish. In 2016, over 14,000 children paid an educational visit to the cathedral.”
The cathedral also has a gift shop and a bright modern café, known as the Refectory, so they are able to engage with visitors at different levels. Unlike many other cathedrals, Norwich is still free to enter, although visitors are invited to donate towards the upkeep of the building.
“People often tell me how important Norwich Cathedral is to them” said Andrew. “One lady told me that she owed her survival to the cathedral”
Norwich Cathedral's stand, with Andrew Bryant, at the Royal Norfolk Show, is pictured above.
For more information, visit https://www.cathedral.org.uk/