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You can now ride a 50ft helter skelter in Norwich Cathedral

PUBLISHED: 16:18 08 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:21 15 August 2019

The Helter Skelter installed in Norwich Cathedral as part of their 'Seeing It Differently' project
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019

The Helter Skelter installed in Norwich Cathedral as part of their 'Seeing It Differently' project Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

Archant 2019

A fairground ride is not normally something you would expect to see in a cathedral.

The Helter Skelter installed in Norwich Cathedral as part of their 'Seeing It Differently' project
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019The Helter Skelter installed in Norwich Cathedral as part of their 'Seeing It Differently' project Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

But this summer visitors to Norwich Cathedral will see just that following the installation of a 50ft helter skelter in the cathedral nave.

The brightly-coloured slide, which consists of more than 1,000 parts and took a team of four more than 19 hours to erect is part of a project called Seeing It Differently, which aims to encourage people to experience the cathedral in new ways.

The spectacle, the idea of the Rev Canon Andy Bryant, aims to get visitors closer than ever before to the cathedral's famous collection of medieval bosses which adorn the ceiling of the nave.

Canon Bryant said: "We've got more than 250 bosses telling the complete story of the Bible but the trouble is they're so high up.

The Helter Skelter installed in Norwich Cathedral as part of their 'Seeing It Differently' project
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019The Helter Skelter installed in Norwich Cathedral as part of their 'Seeing It Differently' project Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

"So we came up with this very playful idea and although we get that some people may think, 'what's a helter skelter doing in Norwich cathedral?' Actually when you get up there you're going to be able to get closer to the roof bosses than you've ever been able to and enjoy what I would argue is one of the great gems of the city."

Canon Bryant said the cathedral was always trying to attract new visitors: "I think there are always some people who think cathedrals are not for them or they must be for particular kinds of people but when people come into the building they are always blown away by it."

The Dean of Norwich, the Very Rev Jane Hedges, who was the first to have go on the fairground ride, said the helter skelter was an extraordinary way to see the cathedral, adding: "It goes quite fast and the view from the top is amazing.

"We've done reasonably imaginative things over the years, since I've been here we've had science festivals, a Dalek, a volcano, even the bishop walking on custard, so all sorts of things, but they've always had something serious behind them.

The Helter Skelter installed in Norwich Cathedral as part of their 'Seeing It Differently' project
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019The Helter Skelter installed in Norwich Cathedral as part of their 'Seeing It Differently' project Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

"The idea of this particular project is to get people more familiar with the stories of the Bible and to help people to see how they are relevant to us and what they say to us about our relationships with each other and God."

The helter-skelter is open from Thursday August 8 to Sunday August 18, costing 2 per person.

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