Soul reveals £7m plan for 1000-seater Norwich church
Soul Church in Norwich has announced ambitious plans to rebuild a £7m Church & Community Hub on the ruins of the former Mount Zion, Family Life Church site at Heartsease Lane in Norwich, which was destroyed by fire back in 2006. Keith Morris reports.
Since the Church transitioned in July 2014 from NFLC to Soul Church under the leadership of Jon and Chantel Norman it has experienced huge growth and will shortly be starting a fourth Sunday service.
It told its three congregations yesterday (September 24) of its plan to build a 1000-seater auditorium, youth centre, café, nursery and an indoor play area in a £7m first phase. The church hopes that it will move into its new home by Easter 2020.
The facilities will all be linked together by Soul Street. Phase 2 will include an indoor sports centre and phase 3 will see a Dream Centre, where it can provide sheltered accommodation for the homeless and vulnerable in Norwich.
The former Heartsease Lane site was destroyed by a fire in February 2006. During the past 11 years the church has tried to re-establish its base, moving from community to community and never really calling anywhere home. Its current location is at Mason Road, where the church is outgrowing the venue, which has led to a third service being introduced, with a fourth planned to be launched shortly.
“This is a statement to our city that the church is taking up rightful place again,” said lead pastor Jon Norman. “We believe that as the needs of our city get greater, the church needs to shine brighter. The church that we see is a place where everyone can call home.
“Soul Church is having a huge influence in our city and beyond through the Soul Foundation. The purpose of Soul Foundation is about 'love in action' and enables Soul Church to bridge the gap between the church and our city. Its initiatives include reaching out to the homeless, hurting and vulnerable in our city. Soul Church has also extended its reach and is having an impact globally through Soul Foundation, which includes feeding and housing orphans in India, the Philippines and Pakistan, as well as helping to fund a home for disabled children in South Africa,” said Jon.
He also pledged his commitment that during the build period the church would have an even greater impact on these great causes through increasing its financial support, as people are important to God and therefore important to us, he said.
The projected cost for phase 1 will be £7m, which will be raised through a number of initiatives, including the sale of its current site at Mason Road. For the project to stay on course £1m will be required to be raised each year for the next three years.
“Our future couldn't be more exciting, we're going home,” said Jon.
Read our previous stories on this topic.
Click here to see a video about Soul chuch's Heart for the House project.
Pictured above and below, artist’s impressions of the new Soul Church centre on Heartsease Lane.