'Learning from Norwich Nonconformity' conference
“Delighting in God and His Word: Learning from Norwich Nonconformity,” is the title of a one-day conference in Norwich on March 13 with an American professor as guest speaker. Kevin Gotts reports.
The Old Meeting House Congregational Church, Colegate, Norwich is hosting the conference as part of its vision to become a national centre to promote the Christian Heritage of the UK. The main is professor, Dr Michael Haykin (pictured above) from the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, on his first visit to Norwich.
Organiser, and church pastor, Dr John Clements, said, “The Old Meeting House Congregational Church offers a unique historical setting for this conference. The congregation was first gathered by the Puritan, William Bridge (1600 – 1670) who drew up the church Covenant in 1643. The chapel which was erected in 1693 is one of the first chapels to be built in the country after the passing of the Act of Toleration in 1689. Those who built it desired that its foundation would be built on the Word of God. The vision of the chapel today is also to become a centre where the Puritans love for the Scriptures is brought to life.”
Dr Michael A.G. Haykin is an eminent speaker and has been described by students as “an engaging teacher, brilliant historian, and a gentleman. Dr Haykin is a man passionate for God, he is a great storyteller, his lectures are enjoyable and he allows you the opportunity to get a glimpse of God's sovereign hand in history!”
Overview of Conference
10am Arrival, when tea or coffee is available.
10.30 Why Read Church History? - This talk will outline a number of vital reasons why every Christian needs to be reading Church History.
12 noon Lunch served at Norwich Central Baptist Church
1.30 William Bridge - A look at the teaching of William Bridge, the 17th century minister of the Old Meeting House on treasuring the Scriptures.
3pm Tea and coffee served
3.30 Joseph Kinghorn - We can draw from the delight in God found in the writings of this 18th century Norwich Baptist Minister5pm Tea Time
6pm Open Forum. Finishing at 6.45pm
The Day will cost £20 per person which covers lunch, refreshments and a light tea. Discounts are available – please ask
Dr Clements said: “Meals will be held nearby at Norwich Central Baptist Church, also significant as far as I know, as this is the first time since 1700 that the two churches have done anything together.”
To book your place please visit website www.oldmeetinghousechurch.org.uk to reserve your place along with your payment through PayPal.
Dr John Clements, the current minister, and a close group of loyal supporters, have been busy putting on a programme of services and events for those who wish to better understand the Puritan faith and those who want to understand the historical importance of Oliver Cromwell and other Puritans who were associated with the chapel. The members of the church welcome both local and international visitors to learn from, enjoy and use its facilities.
John is excited by the increasing international revival of interest in the Puritans: “We seek to provide an internationally recognised tourist environment focus based on faith with its roots established in and around Norwich and Norfolk, which will of course bring further economic benefits to our fine city.”