This Historic English Cathedral Just Installed a Slide in the Middle of the Church

A 900-year-old cathedral in England has installed a 50-foot fun slide in its nave, causing considerable controversy.

Norwich Cathedral dates back to 1145 and is one of the largest cathedrals in the UK. It's known for its impressive stained glass work and “medieval roof bosses,” believed to be the largest display in the world. But there’s just one problem when visiting: You can’t get close enough to tell how fantastic it is.

Joe Giddens/PA Wire via AP Images
Joe Giddens/PA Wire via AP Images

For 10 days, a 55-foot slide, which is called a “Helter Skelter” in the U.K., will allow visitors to see the crowning features of the cathedral from a different viewpoint. The slide has a viewing platform about 40 feet off the ground so visitors can get closer to the 69-foot ceiling before sliding down.

“We all are always looking to broaden the appeal of our cathedrals because some people can feel that cathedrals are slightly exclusive, they’re for a particular type of person,” Reverend Canon Andy Bryant of Norwich Cathedral told The Guardian. “We want everybody to feel that they can come in and enjoy it.”

The idea was born from Bryant’s recent visit to the Sistine Chapel in Rome where he thought that “the ceiling at Norwich Cathedral is every bit as wonderful,” the only problem was that people couldn’t see it.

But some are not pleased with the church’s new attraction. “For such a place, steeped in mystery and marvel to buy in to sensory pleasure and distraction, is to poison the very medicine it offers the human soul,” Dr Ashenden, Missionary Bishop for the Christian Episcopal Church, told the BBC.

The ride will remain open through August 18.

Norwich Cathedral is not the only U.K. church bringing in unorthodox pleasures. Last month, the Rochester Cathedral opened up a nine-hole mini-golf course down the center aisle.