Norwich hospital chapel to re-open as community hub
The former Norfolk and Norwich Hospital Chapel is set to reopen as a café and community venue after being boarded up for a number of years since before the housing development at the old hospital site off St Stephens Road in the city centre began.
A team from St Stephen’s Church is to take on responsibility for the chapel, which is a listed building which dates back to 1879, and plan to open it as a café for some of the week as well as being used to host community activities. This could include a choir and a parent and toddler group, with other activities being organised following consultation with the local community.
Rev Canon Madeline Light, Vicar of St Stephen’s Church, said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity to engage with this part of our parish, and to extend our vision for Open Doors, Open Hands, Open Heart to the local community through the use of this beautiful building.”
“There will be thousands of people who feel a connection with this place,” Madeline told the EDP. “It may have been a place where they prayed at a critical time in their lives. They could be happy times when babies were born, sad times when relatives died, or anxious times when loved ones were ill.
“Historically the vicar of St Stephen’s was sometimes the chaplain of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, and it is within our parish.
“At St Stephen’s we work with the homeless and through that we have gained a lot of experience in employing people serving the public. That is the expertise we will bring here.”
“We are doing this in order to build relationships,” added Madeline. “If the relationship becomes permanent we will be looking to invest in the building to make it even more useful for the community.”
The team plans to have the chapel open to the public by January and is asking people to give their views on how it might be used.
You can give your views on what you would like to see in the chapel via a short online survey at www.ststephensnorwich.org. A paper copy of the survey will also be available from the café in St Stephen’s Church.
Local residents are invited to see The Chapel and meet the team from St Stephen’s on Tuesday December 13 from 10am – 3pm. There is also an open evening on Tuesday December 20 6:30-8:30pm when there will be festive refreshments and sing-along carols.
Pictured above is the former Norfolk and Norwich Hospital Chapel.