Norwich church is alive and well, one year on
City church is Alive and well in Norwich! ...It has its first birthday soon, so Sally Erskine went to catch up with pastor Phil Thorne and his wife Jo, to see how things are going.
"It's called 'Alive' as a statement to the city that Jesus is alive, doing amazing things; active in his church, healing and answering prayer," Phil tells me passionately.
Formerly known as City Church since 1985, there are consistent themes in both churches: a love of church in many locations, united and prioritising, bringing in God's presence. "Often when people bring in someone for the first time, they are surprised by the contemporary approach and surroundings, but are met by the presence of God," says Phil.
Alive Network links to churches near the eastern coast, including Norwich and Wymondham. Also Lincoln, Hykeham, Grantham and Scunthorpe, with the philosophy of interdependence at its core, because "together we can do more".
Phil cites results of this network, being: 1. The biggest number of new converts in his church making decisions for Jesus in one year 2. The ability to put £100,000 - across the churches - into various projects locally and internationally; Tear Fund Cambodia being the largest recipient 3. The sharing of speakers from other locations
Alive Norwich moved out of the Mercure Hotel recently and into a chapel which it owns in Cowgate, having first thoroughly renovated it.
A chapel on Nelson Street is also owned by Alive. They purchased it in 1996, and it is in the process of major refurbishment. The aim is to have it ready by the autumn.
"We are hoping to see both buildings used - maybe one for a service on Sunday and the other on a Wednesday,” says Phil. “Our strapline is "each one teach one" - we want to see new people coming to Christ as a result of us all reaching out to our doorstep world; a balanced approach which we hope will help the church as a whole to grow."