5,400 pack out Soul Church for wonderful show
More than 5,400 people packed out Soul Church in Norwich over the weekend to see its Christmas extravaganza - The Wonder. Keith Morris reports.
Queues of traffic and people outside the Mason Road church for most of its incredible nine free performances over two days, testified to the popularity of the Christmas story, told with the help of numerous Disney and other film characters.
A cast of 200, plus another 200 on traffic, queuing, seating and refreshments duties, made sure everyone had a great time, despite the queues.
The main 600-seater hall was full for each performance and a 200-seater overflow hall was called into use several times.
Accomplished solo singers, dancers, acrobats and an accapella group, added to the magic of the performance from a cast of all ages to produce an impressive blockbuster which kept the packed crowds happy over no less than nine performances in just two days.
The production opened on a snowy Elm Hill with Norwich youngster Phoebe writing to Santa wanting to know what the true wonder of Christmas is.
A high-tech Santa consulted Alexa and promptly dispatched a trio of mischievous elves, accompanied by pixie Tinkerbelle across space and time to find the answer for her.
The Greatest Showman – PT Barnum said the answer is “love”.
Elsa and Olaf agreed with Peter Pan that it is “joy”.
Snow White and the seven dwarves said “kindness”.
Pocahontas said “peace”.
Soul church senior pastor Jon Norman was on hand to deliver the punchline:
“We love this city and the people of this city. This church is here to serve our city and The Wonder is our free gift to you.”
“I hope you have enjoyed your journey of discovery over the last hour and it is time now to find out the true wonder of Christmas.
“God gave the greatest gift of all to humanity - Jesus Christ who promised he will bring peace to earth.
“I have come to realise that real peace in life is not what is happening around us, it is what’s happening inside of us. Jesus Christ came to bring inner peace this Christmas. He is the prince of peace
“That’s the true wonder of Christmas - eternal peace and life through Jesus.”
The show, which was broadcast live on YouTube, raised money for YMCA Norfolk from audience donations.
Jon promised the show would be back again next year, bigger and better over two full weekends.
Pictures courtesy of Soul Church.