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New minister inducted at Norwich churches

New minister Rev John Potter has been welcomed to the Norwich Area URC group of churches at a packed induction service. Carole Parry reports.

On Saturday, July 30, a very large gathering at Ipswich Road, drawn from the two congregations of Ipswich Road and Princes Street URCs and the Norwich Area URC, together with friends and visitors from far and wide, including members from Leicester where Rev John Potter has ministered for the past six years, and was now to be inducted to serve our two churches within Norwich.
 
The service was conducted by Rev Paul Whittle, Moderator of the Eastern Synod of the URC and included contributions by members of our two churches, and an introduction to the Call by the Rev Ian Fosten, Team Leader and Interim Moderator, with a welcome to our new minister and his family.

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John Potter then related something of the journey to this point in his life, which began in the world of commercial photography, and then training for the ministry at Queens College, Birmingham, followed by ordination and pastoral service.  A desire to come to Norwich was twice thwarted by the good Lord, but now it was third time ‘lucky’. So say all of us. He was even able to encourage a participatory response!  His answers to the formal questions put by the Moderator, and to us all, set the seal on our future together.
 
The shared reciting of the ‘Statement of the Nature Faith and Order of the United Reformed Church’ clearly reminded us all of who we are and the challenges we face in proclaiming our faith, and this was underlined by Rev Mary Burgess, a friend and colleague of John, in her vivid and lively induction sermon and who really brought us together in the Spirit.

Readings from the scriptures, hymns well-chosen and enthusiastically sung and heartfelt prayers, all contributed to a very special act of worship. Finally our new minister announced that he was to conduct morning worship at Princes Street next day, and then pronounced the Blessing.
 
Refreshments served by members of both congregations provided an opportunity for everyone to mingle and chat and set the seal on a time of thankfulness, hope and prayer – a day to remember.
 
Pictured above is Rev John Potter at the induction and the large congregation.