The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Norwich church attracts 23 different nations


By Mike Wiltshire

2009: People from at least different 23 nations are now attending a growing family church on the western fringes of Norwich.
The international appeal of Earlham Christian Centre (ECC), located on Earlham Green Lane, NR5 8RF, has attracted regular members whose roots originate in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Far East. They come from such diverse nations as Brazil, Hungary, Congo Democratic Republic and Cameroon (central Africa).
Friendliness and modern contemporary worship are highlighted as important aspects of life at ECC, as well as “an uncompromising message of hope and life-changing teaching” from Pastor Paddy Venner.
In January, 2004, Paddy - then a successful pastor in South Africa – recalls a prayerful moment when, at sunrise, he sat on Table Mountain, overlooking Cape Town, “and God spoke to my heart and said, ‘You’re going to England this year.’ ”
And so it was: Paddy and his wife, Jennike, and their two sons moved to the UK, where Paddy became senior pastor at ECC.
The church has grown through many varied activities. Members are encouraged to join local ‘life groups’ (home meetings), while the wider programme includes youth groups, holiday clubs, leadership training and varied Sunday night gatherings, such as ‘Life Café’.
Among overseas members, Cameroon-born Joseph Kongeh, who studies international development at UEA, says: “The preaching is excellent.”
“The multi-national aspect of ECC really appeals to me,” adds Nigerian-born Clara Plummer, whose husband is an oil-industry executive.
Members actively support overseas work in India, the Philippines, Africa, the Middle East and Bolivia.
Nearer home, many hundreds of local Norwich people are again expected at the ‘Spring Extra’ when ECC once more opens its doors for a free BBQ and family fun day on Bank Holiday Monday, May 25.
Meanwhile, ECC has just held its latest children’s holiday club on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 7 and 8, when scores of local youngsters attended.
Paddy adds: “If you are looking for a church that is relevant, inspiring (and absolutely not boring!) or if you have never been to church and are wondering where to start . . . then look no further!
“We are people just like you.  We love God, we love life and we can't wait to meet you next Sunday.”
Pictured above are some of the 23 nations represented at ECC.
., 08/04/2009

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