Transformation of Norwich can happen says Petrie
Transforming Norwich has welcomed international speaker Rev Dr Alistair Petrie to the city for a second year, speaking and meeting local Christians at a week of events across Norwich. Biddy Collyer reports.
During one of the busiest weeks in the calendar for Christians in Norwich, the executive committee of Transforming Norwich was privileged to welcome Alistair and his wife Marie to the city. It was their second visit, building on their time in Norwich in May last year.
In Norwich, the couple said that they sensed that a shift had occurred since last year – that the city felt more open and that the atmosphere had changed positively. The whole week was being backed in prayer by their worldwide intercessors team, confirming that Norwich was on God’s agenda as being an important place where transformation of the whole culture could take place. They felt that many indications of coming transformation are already here.
The theme for the week was teaching the local church how to pray for the city in a focussed and intentional way, through prayer walking, personal intimacy with God and corporately as the church in Norwich.
As well as seminars on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at Alive Church and the House of Prayer, there were evening meetings where Alistair shared his experience of city transformation around the world. He is currently working with churches in Australia, USA, and in the UK. The amazing changes that have taken place across the world can be viewed on YouTube (Transformation).
On Friday night, he spoke at the Full Gospel Businessmen’s meeting at the Brooke Hotel in Bowthorpe, focussing on how Christians engaged in market-place ministries can impact not just their businesses for God, but whole communities. He gave instances of farmland yielding three and four times their usual crops because farmers had cried out to God for transformation.
Repentance is the key before transformation can come says Alistair. The times are desperate and the church is God’s only answer as it calls out to Him for our land to be healed (2 Chron 7:14). This is much wider than revival. Christians are called to be catalysts of change and this has been born out in the areas where transformation has taken place in businesses, agriculture, education, governance, health and security.
On Sunday June 12, at Sprowston Methodist Church, Transforming Norwich hosted an evening service. Following Alistair’s preaching on the need for us to make a choice whether we were prepared to be desperate to see our city and county transformed, minister Rev Nigel Fox called on those present to respond to God’s heart-felt call and there followed a deep time of prayer.
The final part of Alistair’s visit to the city was held at Alive Church, when he spoke on the first book of Samuel and Hannah’s crying out to God for a child. She was provoked by irritation. He said that God provokes us when He want to do something deep.
In an impassioned call, Alistair repeatedly said that he knows that God’s hand is on Norwich, This is a time of decision and for those that want it, a time to be desperate in prayer.
Recordings of the sessions will be available from the House of Prayer.
Pictured above is Rev Dr Alistair Petrie, preaching at Sprowston Methodist Church in Norwich.