Held during the Celebrate Norwich & Norfolk
festival, an audience of around 30 church leaders and represent- atives at the city centre Chantry Hall
heard from both new Transforming Norwich
chairman Rev Mark Fairweather-Tall
and the Bishop of Norwich
Norwich Central Baptist Church
pastor, Mark, said: “As churches we have a shared history that helps us to identify with one another as we are partners in the Gospel and aiming to be salt and light in our city. We are working together for a touch of heaven here in Norwich.”
Mark outlined the progress that had been made since a new executive was elected just three months ago.
“The new committee is passionate about God and is full of Godly wisdom and vision,” he said. “We will not always agree about everything, but we can put our differences aside for the love of our city and the desire to make a difference to it.
“We have three main aims, explained Mark. “A desire to draw Christian leaders from different backgrounds together so that we can stand alongside each other even if we disagree.
“We want to support what others are doing. There are many fantastic things that are going on such as the Network Norfolk
website and Celebrate Norwich & Norfolk
providing great support for the Christian community and Unite
bringing people together through the Global Day of Prayer
“And finally we want to be a witness to a city in which there are many people who do not believe.”
Planned Transforming Norwich events over the next year include more leaders’ events with speakers, building on the Easter Journey event on Good Friday and an event centred around prayer.
Guest speaker, the Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich
, said: “Even if our churches are not one structurally, we can be one through our relationships, our common Scripture and our common love of Jesus - we do have an extraordinary amount in common.
“After taking away responsibility from churches for social action in the 1960s onwards, the State is now handing back responsibility for it to the voluntary sector,” said Bishop Graham, “which largely consists of the Christian community.
“Where would our city be if we took away the Christian social actions projects such as YMCA Norfolk, Mancroft Advice Project, the Matthew Project, the Magdalene Group, Norwich Foodbank
and Pregnancy Choices
for example. Without such Christian initiatives the social fabric of our city would begin to disintegrate,” said Bishop Graham.
“We are called to do things together which we just cannot do on our own. And there could not be a better time to come together to remember this than during a festival called Celebrate.”
Pictured above at the Transforming Norwich AGM are Rev Mark Fairweather-Tall and the Bishop of Norwich.