The symbolic act took place at Norwich Family Life Church
and was based a prophetic word taken from Ezekiel 37.
Organiser, pastor Phil Thorne,
vision and prophecy applies uniquely to Israel, but there are certain prophetic principles we drew from it that we can apply to us across Norwich and Norfolk today. I believe this is the era to collectively shape our future with our words and connect with God’s plan.
“The call is for church leaders in this new era to step up beyond a theologically understood ‘unity of the Spirit’ into a theologically maintained ‘unity of the Spirit,’ the kind that fulfils Psalm 133’s commanded blessing – life forevermore. The journey we, as the church in Norwich and the region, have been on has over the last twenty years been very beneficial, but with so much talk of unity and togetherness across the nation, we have a great opportunity to see even greater things across this whole area. We could, through the momentum of this prophetic action, see established a spiritual undergirding framework for those greater things.”
The 24 sticks were bound together as pastors stood shoulder to shoulder in agreement with the declaration of: Kingdom thinking and speaking: choosing to honour one another: speaking well of one another: praying for each other: standing together as brothers and sisters.
Churches, whose pastors added sticks, were: City Church Wymondham; Call to Prayer, Norwich; City Church Norwich; Wroxham Rd Methodist; Norwich, Sprowston CofE Parish Norwich; Christ Embassy, Norwich; Liberty Church Frettenham; Liberty Church Bungay; NFLC, Norwich; Victory Villages Church, Nth Elmham; Radical Church, Norwich; Rivers of Life, Norwich; Burn, Norwich; Cornerstone Church, Norwich; The Way, Hunstanton; NCBC, Norwich; Firerunners, Norwich; St Stephens CofE; Norwich, Mulbarton CofE; Tas Valley Team CofE; Bowthorpe Church, Norwich; Gateway Vineyard, Nowich; Fakenham Baptist Community Church; Salvation Army Norwich Citadel.
Other churches can add their stick to the bundle at any public meeting with a prayer of blessing and a declaration of intent.
Daniel Holland, pastor of The Way Christian Fellowship, Hunstanton
, said: “There was a wonderful sense of the love of God and hearts drawn together.”
Craig Deal, leader of Gateway Vineyard, Norwic
h, said, “We are told that Jesus is returning for His Bride not brides, in His eyes there is one Church, all different, all doing different things and all sent to reach different people. The Church isn't in competition with each other, we are all part of one church under Jesus. On Monday night the churches of Norwich and Norfolk made a commitment to honour and bless one another. All different, all with their own vision but together we all make up the Church that Jesus calls His Bride."
Rev Nigel Fox, pastor of Wroxham Road Methodist,
said: “The simple yet expressive action of binding together of sticks for each church said so much. Prayers were offered to bless churches represented, as well as churches not represented, that they may be a blessing in all our communities. That has to be a good thing.”
Mark Fairweather-Tall, pastor of Norwich Central Baptist Church
, said: "There is blessing in the diversity of our churches in the city, yet this is greatly enriched when we recognise our unity through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. The act of binding together sticks representing different churches is a visual statement of intent - that many across the region desire our unity to be displayed ever more strongly in the year ahead."
Pastor Trevor Pimlott of Norwich family Life Church
, said: “It was a great night. I believe history was made in our city with so many of our beloved pastors and leaders in our city and county as we stood together to demonstrate with the sticks our pledge to honour, love and support each other. I am so blessed to be port of it.”
Click here to read a fuller explanation of the symbolic act and more quotes from church leaders
For more details of adding a stick, please contact City Church office (01603) 632901, firstname.lastname@example.org