Sheringham Methodists celebrate 50 years
St Andrews Methodist Church in Sheringham will be celebrating their fiftieth anniversary this summer, and several events are planned to celebrate God’s goodness over that period. Tony Rothe reports.
50 Years of Praise will take place from 10am to 4pm on Saturday May 26. Everyone is welcome to come and sing fifty Hymns & Songs of Praise which have been chosen by church members. Members of the public can drop by and join in at any time during the day, or come and stay all day.
The singing will be led by The New Music Group and there will be a buffet break at lunchtime. Admission is free, but any donations will go to Cancer Research UK. The programme of songs will be available at www.sheringhammethodist.org.uk and in the church.
Rosa West, from St Andrews, said “In celebration of 50 years of worship at St. Andrew`s we are aiming to sing 50 hymns, starting at 10 o'clock and finishing when we run out of steam or songs, but by 4pm at the latest. Do invite your friends and help us to praise the Lord through music.”
The anniversary weekend itself is June 23 to 24.
There will be a Celebration Praise & Tea at 3.30 pm on the Saturday, with the New Music Group starting off the afternoon with a time of Gospel Praise hymns & songs, followed by an Afternoon Tea. All friends old and new, from far and near, are warmly invited to attend this celebration.
Rev Julian Pursehouse, Chair of the East Anglia District of the Methodist Church will lead and be speaking at the Anniversary service at 10.30am on the Sunday morning, followed by coffee & tea.
This year’s Flower Festival from July 5 to 8 will also form part of the anniversary celebrations and will take the theme of “Golden Moments”. The church’s renowned flower arrangers will attempt to interpret in flowers special events, both nationally and locally from the last 50 years. As usual, stalls and refreshments will be available.
St Andrews Methodist Church came into being by combining the town’s two existing Methodist churches – the old Wesleyan Methodist in Beeston Road and the old primitive Methodist in the town centre. On Sunday May 28 1967 a new site for the building of St. Andrew`s on Cromer Road was dedicated, and the Foundation Stone was laid on Saturday September 16 the same year. The cost of the new building was estimated at £39,000, and many fund-raising events were held and initiatives undertaken to pay for the project.
The brand new modern building was opened and dedicated on June 22 1968, with a procession of dignitaries walking across the road from St. Joseph`s Roman Catholic church, where they had robed and assembled, to open St. Andrew`s Church, pictured right.
The thriving youth and children’s work at St Andrews was able to take advantage of the splendid new building, with at least 90 children and young people on the Sunday School registers, and a Boys Brigade company was formed in 1968 to complement the one at the nearby Baptist church. The two brigades amalgamated in the mid 1970’s. A Girls Brigade also started in the late 1960’s.
The annual St. Andrew`s Flower Festival also started in the late 1960's, and has grown enormously in the last 50 years, now attracting visitors from across the UK. An extension was built in 1981 to accommodate a store room and coffee lounge, followed by a new pitched roof to replace the flat roofs over part of the building, and a new ceiling in the auditorium in 2002.
Rev David Philo, Minister of St Andrews, said “Anniversaries are a reminder of something important that has happened in our lives or the lives of our country, occasions that have influenced our journey into the future. Many anniversaries are a celebration of joyous events and times and none more so than the building of God`s church, a place of prayer and spiritual strength. The building of St. Andrew`s with its symbolism and stained glass, where hope and truth would be shared, and Christ proclaimed was certainly a joyful moment and now celebrated in its fiftieth year. The faith and prayer, the rites of passage from baptism to promotion to glory have ensured that St. Andrew`s is more than a physical building. A tribute to the past, a salute to the present, and path to the future built for "who-so-ever will may come" and find Jesus and new life.”
St. Andrew`s Methodist Church, Cromer Road, Sheringham, NR26 8SA
Do you have a news story or forthcoming event relating to Christians or a church in North Norfolk?
If so, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with details and, if possible a suitable picture.