Extending a Christian welcome to all has been an integral part of the Cathedral’s mission since 1096, long before the term ’accessibility’ was first used.
We aim to build accessibility into everything we do and to make continuous improvements as our resources permit. We seek to anticipate the differing needs of our visitors, volunteers and staff as far as can be reasonably expected.
Where we cannot respond to a particular need, reasons will be given. Our ancient fabric is governed by strict heritage legislation and some physical adaptations are impossible to undertake. Mindful of those constraints, we strive to be as inclusive as we can be, to enable all who wish to reach and appreciate all areas of the Cathedral and to take part in all our services and activities.
In the Cathedral and precincts, Cathedral staff and volunteers are identifiable by their name badges. Additionally, Cathedral Welcomers, Guides, Donations and Shop teams wear blue sashes. They will do their best to assist you with any access needs.
If you have particular needs you wish to discuss prior to your visit, please contact Reception at The Chapter Office via email@example.com, 01603 218300, or 65 The Close, Norwich, NR1 4DH.
Limited parking is available for vehicles bearing an official Blue Badge. Disabled parking permits will be issued by the Close Welcomers for a duration of two hours on a first-come, first-served basis.
A space is provided at the South Door for a minibus carrying disabled passengers. Minibuses must book this space in advance through the Cathedral Estates Manager (01603 218300).
Level access into the Cathedral is available via the South Door 07.00 -18.30, through the Hostry 10.00 – 16.00 (15.00 on Sundays) and via the North West Door (using a platform lift) 07.00 -10.00 and 16.00-18.30.
There is good level access throughout the Cathedral for wheelchair users and others with mobility difficulties. There is also wheelchair access to the Refectory Bakery and Café, Library, Hostry, Bowerbank and Weston Rooms, and the Song School is accessible. The only areas currently not accessible are St Catherine’s and St Andrew’s Chapels, the Treasury, and the Broderers’ Workshop. A ramp can be provided to the Presbytery if you ask a verger on your arrival. NB. Please note this ramp is steeper than is ideal and assistance may be required in using it. This ramp is, regrettably, not suitable for the larger and heavier motorised wheelchairs or buggies.
A toilet accessible to wheelchair users is located on the lower level of the Refectory Bakery and Café. Although designed to the correct building regulation, it may not be accessible to those using larger motorised buggies.
Regrettably, occasionally due to levels of anti-social behaviour, we have to introduce key codes to all our toilets including our accessible toilet. When this is the case, the code for the toilets can be obtained from the Welcome Team in the Hostry, from the Donations Desk and from the Refectory staff. We are very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
We have a small number of wheelchairs available for free loan to visitors for use within the Cathedral and Close. Please contact the Vergers on 01603 218325 or 01603 218324 in advance of your visit.
One lift in the Refectory building serves the upper Refectory Bakery and Café and the Library, and the wheelchair accessible toilet in the Refectory lower floor corridor. The dimensions of the lift are as follows: width of door 900mm; width of cabin 1100mm; and depth of cabin 1400mm. As a result, the lift may not be accessible to all motorised buggies.
Another lift in the Hostry links the Cloister and Hostry and the Hostry with the Weston Room and Song School. This lift has the same dimensions as the Refectory lift mentioned above.
We aim to keep the lighting levels at a level suitable for all our visitors. However if you need these increased for your visit, this is easily done by a Verger, who can be contacted via a volunteer Welcomer, Guide or a member of the Donations Team.
Visitors with impaired vision are encouraged to touch the many different shapes and surfaces around the Cathedral and precincts. Some of the more interesting carvings, such as the misericords (monks' seats) in the Choir, are behind ropes, which can be moved on request.
Due to the historic nature of the site, care is needed on the uneven floors (including some tombstones) and steps. Wherever possible we have edged the steps with a contrasting colour.
Large-print editions of the Welcome to Norwich Cathedral leaflet are available from the Welcomers.
Tactile tours can be arranged. Please contact The Chapter Office (01603 218300) for adults, or the Education Department (01603 218320) for schools.
Guides that are experienced in offering tours to those who are blind or partially sighted are also available for pre-booked tours on request.
All are welcome to all of our services. Large print copies are available for all orders of service and an induction loop is installed. With the exception of St Andrew’s and St Catherine’s Chapels, space can be made for wheelchairs.
At services of Holy Communion, please inform one of the stewards or vergers if you are unable to go up to the altar, so that we can make arrangements to bring communion to you.
Similarly, inform the stewards or vergers if you will require a gluten-free wafer. The vergers can be contacted in advance on 01603 218325.
Incense is used at major Christian festivals including at Festal Evensongs and will linger in the atmosphere for some time after the service. If you think this may impact you then please speak to our Vergers and they will be able to confirm at which services incense is being used.
Our Sunday 10.30 and 15.30 services are also live streamed along with Tuesday's 17.30 Choral Evensong. The services can be watched live via the Norwich Cathedral Services YouTube Channel.
An induction loop has been installed in the Cathedral; hearing aid users should adjust their aid to T. The loop system covers the Nave, Choir and Transepts. This is unlikely to be of use to visitors except during services and when the sound system is in use.
As yet, none of our guides are trained in sign language, although some special worship events provide this service. However, many of them have experience of guiding with an interpreter. Although the Cathedral is a place of prayer, it can at times be quite noisy, especially when the organ is being practised or tuned. Cathedral guides and stewards will endeavour to compensate for background noise.
An induction loop has also been installed in the Weston Room in the Hostry; hearing aid users should adjust their aid to T.
Assistance dogs are welcome and can be provided with water on request.
We aim to ensure that people with learning disabilities can engage with the Cathedral, and will enjoy coming here as visitors and attending our services and activities.
We work to identify and develop partnerships with a range of other educational and community organisations to ensure that our activities cater for the widest possible audiences.
We are committed to providing a wide range of free talks, activities and education events to which everyone is welcome.
All those who come to the Cathedral as visitors or worshippers receive a warm and friendly welcome from staff and volunteers. This is a key part of our Benedictine heritage and Christian mission.
We aim to consider the needs of people whose knowledge of the doctrines, practices and history of Christianity may be limited, alongside the needs of people for whom English is not a first language, or whose knowledge of English history and culture may be limited.
Admission to the Cathedral is by donation at the discretion of the visitor. Where possible, special exhibitions will not incur charges. We are committed to providing a wide range of free talks, activities and education events to which anyone is welcome. Our Gift Shop always stocks a range of low cost souvenirs.
Access to information about the Cathedral, its contents and history, and engagement with its life and worship, is available via the website. The Cathedral has endeavoured to follow current Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C WAI) guidelines and looks to ensure that Conformance Level "AA": all Priority 2 checkpoints are satisfied on the current website. For more details visit https://www.w3.org/WAI/
The BBC's webpage My Web, My Way offers help with adjusting these and other features in specific operating systems and browsers.
We have two touchscreens which explain more about the life of the Cathedral and there is a short film which introduces the life of the Cathedral. We are exploring other ways that technology may assist and enhance the visitor’s experience including developing a new Cathedral app. We aim to ensure that electronic material provided meets current best practice and guidelines.
The Cathedral’s Refectory Bakery and Café is managed by Bread Source. As standard they offer vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options and a selection of non-dairy options for milk. A full list of ingredients is available for all items.
For those with particularly dietary requirements, you are advised to check with Refectory staff either in advance of your visit via firstname.lastname@example.org or on the day via 01603 904142.
For those with particularly dietary requirements attending events at the Cathedral, please contact either email@example.com or phone 01603 218300.