UK Cathedral now features a limited-time ride called a Helter-Skelter.
A giant indoor fairground slide has been installed in a cathedral in England to give visitors the opportunity to see the roof of the cathedral up close. The ride, called a helter-skelter, is 55 feet tall. It will be open to the public for ten days.
Norwich Cathedral has said the slide’s installation isn’t a gimmick. Reverend Andy Bryant said he thought of the slide while he was visiting the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. Reverend Bryant said he knew the idea was risky, but it was too amazing as the ceiling at Norwich Cathedral is beautiful. Reverend Bryant said they have an incredible collection of medieval roof bosses. Since they’re found so high up, lots of people don’t have a chance to see them. This resulted in his idea of getting people up to admire the roof bosses and appreciate them.
Reverend Bryant would like people to be able to capture the story within the beautiful stone carvings. He said the ride is set up in front of a large stained glass window and is part of a program titled, “Seeing It Differently.”
Norwich Cathedral’s initiative is an excellent one. However, they wouldn’t be able to lay claim to be the first to pull such a unique initiative. Rochester Cathedral unveiled a mini-golf course in its central area in the previous month. Many churches in the UK are suffering from a decline in attendance which has prompted churches to look into unique ways of attracting visitors to visit them.
Reverend Bryant has admitted some churchgoers might find the idea controversial. He has written in a post on the cathedral’s website that some people might find the image of a large helter-skelter in a nave a bit shocking. He followed it up by saying being able to climb 55 feet above the floor of the nave will allow people to see the space differently as it will give them an all-new perspective. He challenges everyone to see the space, themselves, and maybe even God differently.
I love #Norwich & I love @Nrw_Cathedral & I think it is the most wonderful thing to have people screaming down a helter skelter one end, a wedding in the middle, and people praying at the other end. pic.twitter.com/eXWCikhcmf
— Rowan Whiteside (@DilysTolfree) August 10, 2019
The ride will remain open to the public until August 18.