More than 460 crosses have been carefully laid out by The Revd Canon Andy Bryant, the Cathedral’s Canon for Mission and Pastoral Care, and each cross represents somebody who has died from COVID-19 in Norfolk.
The poignant flame of a single candle flickers in the centre of the memorial which on Monday was blessed by the Bishop of Norwich, The Rt Revd Graham Usher, and visited by Lady Dannatt, the Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk, and her husband General The Lord Dannatt.
The Revd Canon Andy Bryant, Canon for Mission and Pastoral Care at the Cathedral, said:
“As we begin to move towards the lifting of lockdown it feels important to not forget all those who have died from COVID-19. The sight of so many crosses laid out together is a poignant reminder of how many families are grieving as a result of this pandemic.”
The Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges, said:
“While the numbers reflected in this memorial are specific to Norfolk, as a whole this memorial is a tribute to all who have died from COVID-19.
“Here at Norwich Cathedral we are remembering and praying for all the people in the Diocese of Norwich who have lost their lives.
“Every Wednesday a member of the Cathedral Clergy alone holds a Requiem to remember departed loved ones. If you would like a candle lit in somebody’s memory during this weekly service please email us at email@example.com”
The public were able to view the Coronavirus Memorial for the first time on Monday 15 June when the Cathedral reopened its doors for individual prayer.
Opening for individual prayer is the first phase in the reopening of the Cathedral which, along with all Church of England Churches and Cathedrals, had been closed since March 23 as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Cathedral is now open daily from 10am until 4pm.
Norwich Cathedral has put in place a series of measures to help keep people as safe as possible when they visit. This includes the limiting of the number of people allowed in the historic building at any one time, a special one-way system throughout the Cathedral, hand-cleaning facilities available throughout the route, and signage encouraging people to maintain social distance.
People are welcome to walk around the Nave and light a candle on the Peace Globe, but the Cathedral’s Chapels, Choir stalls and Presbytery remain cordoned off to the public. No toilet facilities are available and, for the time being, and the Cathedral’s shop, Refectory Café and Cloisters will remain closed.
The Very Revd Jane Hedges, Dean of Norwich, said:
“We have been delighted to welcome people back into the Cathedral and we have been very moved by the responses we’ve had from people, some of whom have been moved to tears simply by being back in the Cathedral which means so much to them.
“We hope in the weeks and months ahead that people will continue to find the Cathedral a place of solace, peace and encouragement as we all make our way out of lockdown and rebuild our confidence as we are able to meet face-to-face once again.
“We also look forward to when we are able to resume public worship and so welcome people back to services.”
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.
All photos (c) Bill Smith/Norwich Cathedral