Bishop Jonathan told an audience of over 100 that: “we should rejoice in being a Christian church family, we should rejoice in our faith and we should rejoice in the call to unity which should be at the centre of our faith.”
Celebrate project director, John Betts, said: “We are delighted that this year we have a bigger event which has grown to now include an exhibition in The Forum and St Stephen’s church. We also have more opportunities and associated events running alongside the main festival.”
Events include a two-day Christian social action and services exhibition in the Forum Atrium
, on Millennium Plain
and in St Stephen’s Church
next to Chapelfield Shopping Centre, a full day of music and entertainment on Millennium Plain on the Saturday and a celebration service on Sunday afternoon.
The theme of the festival this year is Celebrating Families, Faith and Unity theme and associated events include seminars, workshops, project launches, concerts and a cafechurch.
The flagship two-day exhibition will fill the Forum Atrium, Millennium Plain and St Stephen’s Church with activities and displays from around 40 different local and national Christians organisations and projects from 9am to 5pm on Friday June 7 and Saturday June 8.
Included will be YMCA Norfolk, Belsey Bridge Conference Centre, Norfolk Street Partnership, United Christian Broadcasters, Christian Concern, OMF UK, Norwich foodbank, All Hallows, Hope into Action
and Hebron Trust
Project director, John Betts,
said: “The event is a unique combination of social action organisations, evangelism, resources, the arts and local churches, all together at a major event, in the public arena. We are celebrating faith in action and unity across the Christian community.”
On Saturday, a full entertainment programme will take place on Millennium Plain outside the Forum from 9am to 3pm and feature St Nicholas choir, Sheringham Youth Choir, Marlpit Community Choir, Back2Front
, the ever-popular ENYP Dance Off
troupe, Sound of Fill
and Brand New Thing
St Stephen’s Church is a new venue for Celebrate and will be packed with exhibitors and activities for the whole family during both Friday and Saturday. There will be free face painting for children, a youth art competition and exhibition, coffee and tea plus free homemade cake and a Midday Office service in the side chapel conducted by All Hallows Convent
Norfolk-based Christian clown, entertainer and schools worker, Sally Beadle
, will be entertaining around the event during Friday and Saturday.
The Sunday programme begins with cafechurch
from 10.30am in Cafe Bar Marzano, with speaker Duane Elkins
An informal after-church picnic will take place in Chapelfield Park
around lunchtime, when everyone is warmly invited to eat your food in the city centre park. It is a great opportunity to share fellowship, make new friends and enjoy a special day.
This will be followed by the Celebrate Norwich & Norfolk Closing Celebration Service
at 3pm, on Millennium Plain, in front of the Norwich Forum. The speaker is Rev James East
with music by Norwich Central Baptist Church.
Celebrate project director, John Betts, said: “It is an occasion to celebrate what God has done over the weekend and proclaim our faith in the heart of the city. It would be fantastic to fill the amphitheatre with people and the airwaves with the sound of God’s praise.”
Pictured top, the Celebrate Norwich & Norfolk festival is opened by deputy town cryer Bob Lloyd, The Bishop of Lynn, the Mayor of Norwich and Celebrate director John Betts. Above Bishop Jonathan visits the Hope into Romania