The service, with a packed congregation of around 650 people, also marked the stepping down of Trevor and Joyce Pimlott
from leadership of the church which was started by Trevor’s father Sedley Pimlott
some 50 years before. The church first met at Oddfellows Hall
on Bethel Street in Norwich and within two years this proved too small and it moved to a redundant Salvation Army chapel on Ketts Hill
and was renamed as Mount Zion.
Further growth within the next five years saw a move to Nelson Street
and then a six-acre site at the old Gothic Social Club
on Heartsease Lane
was bought. A new purpose-built church and community complex was built and well used until a devastating fire in February 2006 saw it burnt to the ground. A brief stay at Drayton Hall
was followed by a move to Mason Road
During the three-hour celebratory service, fulsome tributes were paid to Trevor and Joyce by the Bishop of Norwich, John Betts
from New Hope Christian Centre, Mike Wiltshire
from the FGBMFI, NFLC member Erica Barker,
former YMCA Norfolk CEO John Drake
and, by video, from Brian and Bobbie Houston
senior pastors of Hillsong Church.
Former NFLC leader and now pastor at Hillsong Brisbane, Steve Mawston
also spoke, pointing out that no less than 57 members of the Pimlott family, including himself as a son-in-law are now serving in churches across the world.
But as well as an end, the service marked a beginning for the new Soul Church
to be based at the same venue but with an almost completely new leadership and pastoral team led by Jon and Chantel Norman
, recently back in Norwich after serving at Hillsong church in Cape Town
, South Africa.
Trevor said: “Leading the church has been a tremendous privilege and honour. I can see the potential in Jon and his passion for God. He is a man of integrity and honour and will take the church to a higher level than it has ever been before. I am confident that he is God’s choice for this hour and generation.”
A carved wooden baton was passed from Trevor to Jon, and Jon and Chantel were prayed over by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James and anointed with oil.
Jon said: “We have called the new church Soul Church because we want to see souls saved in our city. We are here to build the church across the city.”
And the future started literally as soon as the service ended, with walls coming down and carpet tiles being ripped up to create a larger auditorium to seat around 800 to 1000 people. The first service of Soul Church will be on Sunday July 13 at 11am and 5pm.
Click here to read our previous article on this topic.
Pictured above, the baton is passed from Trevor and Joyce Pimlott to Jon and Chantel Norman.