Commemoration first for Norwich cathedral
St John's Cathedral, Norwich, is to open a unique and special place of repose for cremated remains, in a first for East Anglia.
What is believed to be the region's first designated 'Columbarium' in a cathedral will be blessed by Bishop Michael Evans, Bishop of East Anglia following Mass celebrated at the magnificent neo-Gothic cathedral on Wednesday November 1, Feast of All Saints.
The Columbarium - the word was used in Roman times for places of burial and comes from the Latin word for 'dovecote', reflecting the shape of the fittings - is sited in the beautiful vaulted undercroft at the East End of the cathedral. Four finely worked bronze cabinets, designed by the Cathedral Architect, Russell Taylor, and constructed in Scotland by H & R Developments each contain over 90 special niches that will house cremation urns. Each niche will be commemorated by an individual plaque.
"A common sight in East Anglia is a cemetery around an ancient church, a reminder that the living and the dead are one family of God", said Bishop Michael. "Our new Columbarium serves the same purpose, a focus for loving remembrance and prayer for those who have gone before us and who are still one with us in the Risen Christ."
Paul Allcock, a local independent funeral director, added that the Columbarium would offer an ideal solution for those who preferred a more spiritual focus for their cremated remains. "Funeral Directors are frequently asked to suggest alternatives to the municipal facility for commemorating ashes. We are delighted to have this option, at long last."
The Columbarium will eventually have space for several thousand urns and provide a fitting place of rest for members of the Diocese of East Anglia and their loved ones who wish to be associated with their Cathedral.
The Blessing takes place on Wednesday November 1 at the Cathedral on Unthank Road Norwich, following the 10am Mass.
Pictured above is Bishop Michael Evans next to the new colmbarium at Norwich Cathedral. Picture by Evening News.