Celebration as Norwich church relaunches
St Alban’s church on Grove Walk in Norwich was packed with people from the local community and from St Thomas church who had come to enjoy the relaunch of the church at a special carol service on December 13.
St Alban's Church in the Lakenham area of the city has been adopted by St Thomas' Church and relaunched as 'Grove Walk' It is intended to be a place of fun, creativity, support and blessing. The mood of the carol service was celebratory, with all those attending receiving party bags containing balloons and party poppers and enjoying mince pies and mulled wine afterwards.
Thanks to the hard work of many people, the building has been transformed with a new coat of paint and heating system. St Albans offers an excellent base, close to St Thomas, to establish a new presence in the city and build new friendships in a new locality.
Ian Dyble, vicar of St Thomas said, “This is a special occasion because so many people have worked so hard to make this possible.” He desribed the launch as “A new season in this place” and thanked the existing worshipers at St Albans – some of whom have been involved for decades – for their warm and friendly welcome.
The Bishop of Norwich Graham James spoke at the service. He said, “This is a transformed place. It’s a glorious building...as indeed will be the ministry exercised here. This is going to be a great place of celebration in the name of Jesus Christ.”
Bishop Graham spoke about St Alban, who was the very first person in England to give his life for Jesus Christ. He shielded a priest in his home as he fled from Roman soldiers. Alban took the priest’s cloak and put it round himself so the priest could escape unseen. Just as St Alban offered sanctuary, it is fitting that the relaunched church will offer people a place of sanctuary and a place to meet with Jesus.
The building features a newly refurbished cafe area. Proceeds from the cafe will go towards social action projects including the work of Street Child in Sierra Leone and a project rescuing people from sex traffiking. The winter programme at Sanctuary has already be set, with a 4pm family service on Sundays, pilates classes on Wednesday mornings, cage football on Wednesdays after school and quiet prayer and meditations evenings on Thursdays.
Church leaders are eager to engage with the community around them and welcomed their ideas and input into activities at St Albans.
For more information about the church visit www.stn.org.uk
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