A Christian community built on the Benedictine Ethos

What is a Benedictine Ethos?

For the first 450 years of its existence Norwich Cathedral was also a Benedictine monastery and, whilst there are no longer monks here, the ethos of this tradition is a continuing influence on Cathedral life. It can be identified across three key values; worship, learning and hospitality.

In the 6th century Benedict of Nursia wrote his 'Rule for Monks', based on his own experience of fallible people striving to live out the gospel. This Rule proved to be so good and well balanced, that it became widely adopted as the model for western monasticism. In the present day Benedict's Rule continues to be valued both in the church and beyond, with many present-day business leaders citing it as a source of inspiration.

The Rule of St Benedict expresses a vision and values for life as a community.

About the Cathedral Community

Norwich Cathedral is the home of a vibrant Christian community, cherishing its Benedictine foundation and seeking to express the principles laid down by St Benedict.

At the heart of everything that happens in the Cathedral is our daily worship. Each day begins with saying Morning Prayer and the celebration of the Eucharist. Each day concludes with the singing of Evensong. All who wish to attend are very welcome at these services.

Central to the worship in this Cathedral is music, with the organ situated at the very heart of the building. The rich choral tradition at the Cathedral is supported by a men’s choir, along with a boys’ and a girls’ choir, who sing at services as well as at occasional concerts.

The Cathedral is also a place of learning, centred on a fine historic and contemporary library. This is also the home of the Norwich Centre for Christian Learning, which helps to promote Christian study and learning. In addition, each year at the Cathedral we welcome over 9,000 children from schools. Our young visitors explore topics ranging from the life of a monk to learning about Edith Cavell and discovering about Jesus to investigating ethical issues.

The Cathedral seeks to offer warm hospitality to all who come through its doors, welcoming visitors from across the world, inviting them to discover its history, enjoy its peace or offer a prayer. We host special services for the Diocese of Norwich, as well as for the city and the county and for different organisations. The Cathedral is also used for exhibitions, talks, performances and other celebrations.

Alongside the Dean and Chapter the day to day life of the cathedral is run 70 full-time and part-time staff, assisted by over 600 volunteers.