Norfolk Coroner to become Lay Canon of Norwich Cathedral


The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, has appointed the Senior Coroner for Norfolk, William Armstrong, as a Lay Canon of Norwich Cathedral. He will be installed at Evensong at Norwich Cathedral on Friday 20th September at 5.30pm.

Commenting on the appointment, the Bishop said, “William Armstrong has been an exceptional coroner for the people of Norfolk. To enter a Coroner’s Court was once an extremely forbidding experience, especially for people dealing with tragedy in their lives. William Armstrong cannot take away the distress caused by the tragic cases he has had to deal with but his humanity, care of witnesses and pastoral good sense has been hugely appreciated. Norfolk has had one of the very best coroners in England and this has been widely recognised within the county.

William’s Christian faith is deep and profound, as is his love of our Cathedral Church. I have decided to make him a Lay Canon of the Cathedral in honour of the way in which he has lived his Christian faith so fully through his work. I’m sure he will relish the chance to serve the Cathedral in the coming years in this new capacity. He is always a blessing to others.”

During the last few years, William Armstrong has overseen a number of ground-breaking initiatives in Norfolk including establishing an inquest support service, providing a new purpose designed court and appointing the first coroners chaplain in England and Wales. He has also set up an advisory and support group and established regular links with a wide network of people and organisations. Mr Armstrong will retire at the end of September after 18 years in post.

The Bishop awards this honour, in consultation with the Dean of Norwich, to those who have made outstanding contributions to the life of the county and who express their Christian faith in the context of their secular work. Lay Canons are a relatively new part of Cathedral life. The office is honorary and there are 10 Lay Canons. The other Lay Canons are:- Professor Peter Aston, Henry Cator OBE DL, Dr Bryony Falkus DL, Susie Furnivall, Christopher Lawrence, Jane Rivett, Paddy Seligman OBE, Professor Brian Thorne and Anthony Thwaite OBE.