The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

New Norwich minister crosses the country

In a ministry move from Somerset to Norfolk, the Rev Mark Elvin of the United Reformed Church was inducted to the pastorate of Bowthorpe’s ecumenical church on Saturday, September 22.

MarkElvinFamily450Born in Bromley, Kent, Mark is the son of a banker and is married to Mandy. They have two children, Rachel and Reuben.
Mark was previously the lead minister at Locking Castle Church at  Weston-super-Mare in north Somerset.  Mark was happy in the West Country, but to his surprise was urged by a colleague to apply for a vacant post in Norwich.
However, Mark and Mandy agreed that only a 100 per cent endorsement by the ecumenical leaders in Bowthorpe would convince them that it was, indeed, God’s will for them to make the big move.
Mark made a routine application and was subsequently endorsed 100 per cent.  He succeeds Canon Simon Stokes and the Rev Tim Weatherstone, who were the previous ministers at Bowthorpe.
Before Mark entered the ministry, he was a youth and school worker in East London – and before that, he was a chef with London’s Intercontinental Hotel group.  Mandy was a food technologist and for relaxation they both share a special love for ballroom and Latin American dancing
Mark is also a sports enthusiast and a supporter of West Ham United.  
In an ecumenical service, Mark was inducted to the pastorate by representatives of four denominations:  the United Reformed Church, Baptists, Church of England and Methodists, supported by ministers and friends from other local churches.
BowthorpePlans450The modern ecumenical church centre stands alongside the 600-year-old ruin of St. Michael and All Angels. Once a large church with an imposing round tower, all that remains today are three-quarters of the chancel wall.
This atmospheric ruin once overlooked the medieval community of Bowthorpe, standing guard at the highest point of the village. The church was enlarged during the 14th and 15th centuries, despite the ravages of the Black Death, using the same stone as that used in the construction of Norwich Cathedral. However, by the 1790s the building had once more become a ruin.
Today, the modern church centre is the home for a vibrant Christian community that reaches out to many families in the area.
Pictured above are Mark and Mandy Elvin with their children, Reuben and Rachel. Also pictured, right, is a display board at Bowthorpe showing the 600-year-old ruin and the modern church centre alongside it.

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