The site of the temporary mortuary created in a Norfolk air hangar has been dedicated by the Bishop of Norwich.

Built at the former RAF Coltishall base near Norwich, the mortuary was expected to be used for the first time this week 

It was built by Norfolk County Council at the Scottow Business Park ready for the forecasted peak in coronavirus deaths and to ease pressure on the county’s hospitals.

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

He 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.

“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.”

The temporary mortuary was set up on behalf of the Norfolk Resilience Forum. The 600-acre site was chosen because it was secure, spacious and positioned discreetly.