Cathedral to host 'Dippy the Dinosaur'

Norwich Cathedral has been chosen as one of just eight venues to host the magnificent ‘Dippy the Diplodocus’ as part of a special UK-wide tour organised by the Natural History Museum which will last two and a half years.

Dippy will travel across the country, starting in Dorset in early 2018 and finishing the tour in Norwich where he will be on display in the magnificent Nave of the Cathedral from July to October in 2020.

The Natural History Museum has hosted the famous 22 metre dinosaur since 1905 and, with generous support from the Garfield Weston Foundation, it is hoped the nationwide tour will help to inspire another generation of scientists and allow families to explore nature on their doorstep.

The Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral are delighted that Norwich was chosen as the East of England venue and Dean Jane Hedges said: “Historically Naves in churches and cathedrals have been used for a wide variety of activities. Today, cathedrals across the country host a variety of events from traditional concerts and dinners to fashion shows and Christmas markets.

“The presence of Dippy in Norwich will naturally bring people from all backgrounds and beliefs and will stimulate questions and debate about creations and the origins of life as well as some of the major issues facing humanity today. It will prompt people to think about aspects such as climate change and food production.

“In addition we hope Dippy will be a source of enjoyment and a fun experience to attract people of all ages to come to the Cathedral,” the Dean added.

The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, commented: “This is good news for the Cathedral and the people of Norwich and the wider region. It complements the work the Cathedral has done in hosting a range of events and using its inspirational space creatively. In particular, it links with the aims of the successful Science Festival held earlier this year. This will be a big event. Cathedrals are great places for doing big things, for at their heart is the worship of a very big God of love.”

The Cathedral’s education department will be working in partnership with major institutions in the city and county, as well as the Teacher Scientist Network, to develop a range of exciting activities for school children from all over Norfolk and the wider eastern region. Dr Phil Smith, Coordinator of the Teacher Scientist Network, said: “Although Dippy’s story goes back 150 million of years, we are really excited to have the opportunity to inspire countless young people by discussing contemporary science challenges for which Dippy will be the ideal backdrop.”
It is also hoped the historic visitor will provide inspiration for today’s generation of artists, musicians and writers to create work and engage with Dippy as he stands in the historic space.