The move was announced to the 500-strong Norwich
congregation by Proclaimers’
lead pastor Tom Rawls
at a special service at the church’s converted warehouse The Space,
Rowntree Way, on Sunday (April 6) morning.
Proclaimers, once an independent church, has been personally invited by the Lead Pastor of Hillsong church, Pastor Brian Houston
, to become part of a unique group of only three churches in the UK and just 30 churches across the globe who will now be known as the "Hillsong Family.
This "family" connection acknowledges the church's close friendship with the Sydney-
based church which has other congregations in ten other cities including London, Kiev, Cape Town, Stockholm, New York City, Paris, Konstanz, Copenhagen, Moscow, Barcelona, Amsterdam
and Los Angeles.
It affords the Norwich church a formal relationship with Hillsong Church.
Tom Rawls said: "Hillsong Church is a hugely successful and influential church in the world today and we are honoured to be invited to formalise our links with them as part of such a unique group of churches here in the UK.
“The Hillsong Family now provides Proclaimers with a formal link with Hillsong Churches globally. This new level of relationship and co-operation brings for us a deepening sense of identity, affiliation and of course a new level of accountability."
Earlier this year, Brian Houston, the founding pastor of Hillsong Church, wrote to Tom and his wife Denise
with a personal invitation to become part of the Hillsong family of churches. The invitation acknowledged the decade-long relationship between them and the strong relationship between Proclaimers and Hillsong in Australia and with the Hillsong London
church led by Pastors Gary and Cathy Clarke
Tom said: “The formal relationship with Hillsong globally acknowledges our similar cultures and style, and the close relationships that exists between us as leaders. This relationship acknowledges the ongoing commitment and friendship between the two churches."
It's this new level of accountability, the formal identification, and strong friendship that has made Proclaimers part of the Hillsong Family.
Pictured top is a service at Proclaimers and, above, from left to right, Pastor Brian Houston (founder and Lead Pastor of Hillsong Church), Pastor Tom Rawls (Lead Pastor of Proclaimers) and Pastor Gary Clarke (Pastor of Hillsong Church London).