Dedication for new mortuary

Just Regional
Apr 17, 2020 3 mins read

The site of the temporary mortuary at Scottow Enterprise Park has been dedicated by the Bishop of Norwich in an online ceremony.

In a special address from his home, the Rt Rev Graham Usher thanked those working to set up the mortuary and said a prayer of dedication.

Bishop Graham said: “The tragic reality of the covid-19 pandemic is that people are dying in increasing numbers. The county council has made contingency plans for a temporary mortuary where the deceased of all faiths and none can rest peacefully and be looked after with care and dignity.

The Bishop of Norwich dedicated the temporary mortuary
at Scottow Enterprise Park in a video made at his home.

“Chaplains will also be available to support bereaved families. I am enormously grateful to all who have worked so hard to build this facility and those who will be staffing it. In this week after Easter, my earnest prayer is that this facility will not be needed, but, if it is, that the light, hope and peace of the Risen Christ will be felt there.”

As previously reported by Just Regional, the temporary mortuary is being set up by Norfolk County Council, on behalf of the Norfolk Resilience Forum, in response to health and scientific advice that there will be an increase in the number of people dying in the coming weeks before cases begin to fall.

The Norfolk Resilience Forum wants to ensure that all of those who die are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve and needs to set up the temporary centre to ease pressures on hospitals.

The site – on the former RAF Coltishall base – has been chosen because it is a safe and secure location positioned discreetly away from public view with sufficient space for specialist portable buildings to be housed undercover in a former hangar. The mortuary will be staffed, with security in place at all times when it is closed. All Public Health advice is being followed and there is no health risk to local people. Mortuaries are normally only used for the relatively brief period of time between a person’s death and the arrangement of their funeral.

Andrew Proctor, chair of the Norfolk Leaders’ Group and leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “We are grateful to Bishop Graham for his service of dedication, which I hope will bring some comfort to those who sadly lose a loved one in this most difficult of times. We want all those who lose their lives to this dreadful disease to receive the respect and dignity they deserve.”

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