Cathedral installs helter skelter for visitors (but does it 'mock God'?)

Attraction: The viewing platform will allow people to see the decorated roof better (SWNS)

A cathedral has constructed a 55ft-tall helter skelter in its nave - to help visitors have a unique view of its decorated roof.

Visitors are being charged £2 to climb the funfair ride to get a closer look at the medieval roof and architectural features inside Norwich Cathedral, including carvings depicting biblical stories.

The aim is to give people the opportunity to experience the building ‘in an entirely new way’, from the 40 ft viewing platform.

Some sceptics have accused Norwich Cathedral of treating God ‘like a tourist attraction’.

The Right Reverend Dr Gavin Ashenden told the Telegraph: ‘It’s a mockery because it’s treating God like a tourist attraction rather than the creator of the universe.’

Unique: Norwich cathedral has constructed a 55ft-tall helter skelter in its nave (SWNS)

Reverend Canon Andy Bryan, of Norwich Cathedral, said the idea came to him when he was visiting the Sistine Chapel in Rome, Italy.

‘A cathedral may not be the natural home of a helter skelter but that is precisely part of the draw,’ he said.

‘We will be doing what cathedrals have always done: helping people see things differently and make connections with the things of God.’


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The views will also include a closer look at the 69-ft medieval roof’s bosses that depict Biblical stories.

Rev Bryan said: "Learn a little of the thinking behind seeing it differently and hear how helter skelter shaped mission is working.

‘How can we make connections with those for whom Church never appears on their agenda? And of course time to experience seeing it differently and ride that helter skelter.

‘Open to all wanting to explore practical mission ideas.’

Dr Ashenden, a former chaplain to the Queen, said this diverts people from the point of a visit to a cathedral.

'New thinking': The ride will cost visitors £2 a ride (SWNS)

‘There’s a sliding scale between mockery and blasphemy. It’s a mockery because it’s treating God like a tourist attraction, instead of as the creator of the universe who is going to hold us accountable for our ethical failures.

‘It becomes blasphemy at the point where the cathedrals represent a long line of belief - much of which is martyred belief - people have paid with their lives to believe in Christ and cathedral is corporeal embodiment of Christ.

‘It suggests cathedrals have lost their responsibility to Christ because they are preoccupied with the demands of society.’

The helter skelter will be at the cathedral until August 18.

The fee will cover the cost of hire from a funfair company and any surplus going into cathedral initiatives.

The ride follows Rochester Cathedral’s decision to put a crazy golf course in its nave, which allowed visitors to putt their way through the 11th century building.

Many cathedrals face financial struggle with the Archbishop of Canterbury even telling a conference last year that the buildings need to be ‘more fun’.

‘If you can't have fun in a cathedral, you don't know what fun is,’ he said.