Ancient cathedral plans to install a 40ft helter skelter

Ancient cathedral plans to install a 40ft helter skelter… to reverse the slide in visits

  • A 40ft traditional fairground ride will be installed in nave at Norwich Cathedral
  • Diocese says it will give visitors ‘chance to experience the space in a new way’
  • Residents who live near the cathedral say fairground ride is ‘dumbing down faith’

Congregation numbers across the country are already spiralling downwards.

So plans by a cathedral to introduce a helter skelter to boost visitors could be seen as, well… an ironic twist.

The 40ft traditional fairground ride will be installed in the western end of the nave at Norwich Cathedral in August.

An artist’s impression of the 40ft traditional fairground ride will be installed in the western end of the nave at Norwich Cathedral in August

An artist’s impression has been used to show how it might look inside the 873-year-old building. 

The diocese says the plan is to give visitors ‘the chance to experience the space in a new way and open up conversations about faith’. 


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Thrill-seekers will be treated to unique views, including close-ups of the medieval ceiling.

It is part of the cathedral’s ‘Seeing It Differently’ initiative, which will also encourage visitors to lie on yoga mats to gaze upwards. 

It is part of the cathedral’s ‘Seeing It Differently’ initiative, which will also encourage visitors to lie on yoga mats to gaze upwards

The Rev Canon Andy Bryant said: ‘We will be doing what cathedrals have always done: helping people see things differently and make connections with the things of God.

But Jenny Roope, 42, who lives near the cathedral, said: ‘I can’t quite believe this – is it an early April Fool’s joke?’ 

Another resident said: ‘It is basically dumbing down our faith. Whatever next – goldfish in the font so kids can feed them?’

Next year Dippy, the Natural History Museum’s much-loved dinosaur, will be erected inside the 12th century cathedral as part of a national tour.

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