Watch: Volcano eruption outside Norwich Cathedral sees science festival kick off with a bang

The volcano "erupts" at the launch of the Science Festival at Norwich Cathedral.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLA

The volcano "erupts" at the launch of the Science Festival at Norwich Cathedral.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

For just five minutes, in the name of science, a tiny piece of Norwich was transported 114 years back in history.

The volcano "erupts" at the launch of the Science Festival at Norwich Cathedral.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLA

The volcano "erupts" at the launch of the Science Festival at Norwich Cathedral.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Shielding themselves from the wintry temperatures and persistent drizzle, religious figures, science lovers and Norwich organisations last night gathered outside the Cathedral as a volcano began to rumble menacingly.

Plumes of smoke soon followed - and quickly after came the eruption of lava and fireballs.

The stunt was part of the Cathedral's Science Festival and was designed to transport the audience back to the Mount Pelée eruption in the Caribbean in 1902, which claimed 30,000 lives.

The Dean of Norwich, the Very Rev Jane Hedges, said the festival, which began on Sunday and runs until March 18, was designed to bring together science and religion.

The volcano "erupts" at the launch of the Science Festival at Norwich Cathedral.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLA

The volcano "erupts" at the launch of the Science Festival at Norwich Cathedral.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

'First of all we have organised this to celebrate science,' she said. 'There are people doing fantastic pieces of work that are enhancing people's health and lives.

'But it's also an opportunity to think about the ethics involved in science as these change and develop.

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'Also, as a faith community it's important to show there isn't a need for a blockade between science discovery and faith in God.'

She said there are 'a lot of scientists that are Christians' and that the faith and science communities needed to work together.

Last night's mock volcano eruption was created to show the positive impact that scientific advancements in predicting disasters can have on communities.

In the months building up to the festival, Cathedral team has worked alongside the Norwich Research Park, Norfolk Museums Service, the Science, Art and Writing Project (SAW) and the John Innes Library.

It will be made up of 12 events, including an exhibition, guest sermon and science days for schools.

For more information, visit www.cathedral.org.uk/scienceAre you organising a project we should know about? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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