New Norfolk church reveals name and plans
By Keith Morris
The name and design of a new church planned for the David Rice Hospital
site in Drayton
has been revealed by the man behind it, Graham Dacre
, who has also refuted some of the arguments of a local action group and asked other local churches for their support.
TLC will be a contemporary Christian church that advocates Christianity, lives and breathes faith in God, and communicates the Christian message in a manner that connects with all ages, according to well-known Christian businessman Graham.
“TLC stands for ‘Today’s Lifestyle Church’ which will be made up of families who live in the Drayton area and more widely,” said Graham. “An open door will welcome all who choose to become part of TLC. The love of life will also be at the core of tlc and most importantly we wish to attract those who say ‘I really don’t know what church is all about’.
“It will not be a ‘mega church’. As a local church TLC will play a part in bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our community and city. tlc will inspire others to achieve more than they ever imagined possible and will actively support the good work being done by other local churches.,” said Graham. A core leadership team will be announced in due course.
Refurbishment works are currently under way at Drayton Hall
. On completion TLC will use the premises for the first stage of its journey. Simultaneously, permission is being sought by the Lind Trust for a new church building on the former David Rice Hospital site on Drayton High Road to become the new home of TLC. Thereafter Drayton Hall will become available for alternative use.
A local action group, DRAG (Drayton Residents Action Group), has been formed to oppose the building plans and Graham (pictured below) said: “We think many residents do not appreciate that permission has already been granted for a church of 2020sqm. We wonder if the residents realise that if the opinion of local anti-church campaigners result in planning permission being refused, the site will be developed for an alternative use such as employment, industrial or even housing.
“The size of the auditorium has been scaled down and the additional space applied for is for a children’s church, hospitality, amenity areas and meeting rooms.”
Graham has also pointed out that Norfolk County Council's Highways Authority has no objections to the plan and proposed use on Sundays and evenings means any traffic will be at off-peak times. He has also promised to keep the site open for full public access and to fund and actively manage the woodland and improve ecology on the site.
“The proposed church building covers only 2% of the 32 acres and the remaining 98% would be available to all within the community to enjoy for the rest of time,” he said.
A website about the proposed church has just been launched and provides space for people to give their views. Graham is also asking other local churches and Christians to support the plans and sign an online petition.
“We would be extremely grateful if you felt able to support us in developing this Kingdom resource that we will be delighted to make available to other churches in the coming years,” said Graham.
“On the website is a section to express your views and add your comments. DRAG has collected 275 signatures against approving the application. We would therefore be grateful to you for helping demonstrate wider support for the new church across the city and county. Perhaps as the body of Jesus Christ we can come together on this matter?”