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Norwich Cathedral West Window
Plans underway to reopen Norwich Cathedral 

Preparations are under way at Norwich Cathedral to ensure that the building will be as safe and secure as possible for people when the Cathedral is once again able to open its doors.
 

The government announced late on Saturday night that that places of worship will initially be allowed to reopen to the public specifically for individual prayer from June 15.

Norwich Cathedral, along with all Church of England Churches and Cathedrals, has been closed since March 23 as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Preparations for the phased reopening of Norwich Cathedral are being carefully planned in line with government advice and will be continually monitored to ensure everyone’s safety.

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.

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.

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

During the first phase of reopening, the number of people allowed into the Cathedral at any one time will be limited and a one-way system will be put in place.

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.

Once inside, people will be asked to follow a set one-way route through the Cathedral 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 Nave will be open for people to light a candle on the Peace Globe, but the Cathedral’s Chapels, Choir stalls and Presbytery will be cordoned off and closed to the public.

In this first phase of reopening, the Cathedral will not be open for general sightseeing and the Cathedral’s shop, Refectory Café and Cloisters will remain closed. There will also be no toilet facilities available.

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.

A video service led by one of the members of the Cathedral’s Clergy is published on the Norwich Cathedral Services YouTube Channel every Sunday morning.

Every week booklets for Morning and Evening Prayer are also published on the Cathedral website for people to follow at home, and people can also email prayers to prayers@cathedral.org.uk

On Wednesdays at 12 noon, a member of Norwich Cathedral's clergy alone holds a Requiem to remember departed loved ones. Anybody who would like a candle lit in a loved one’s memory during the service is welcome to email prayers@cathedral.org.uk

Helen Baldry, 09/06/2020

Helen Baldry

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