Norwich churches build for the future
Three city congregations are embarking on ambitious building projects, showing that the future of the church in Norwich
is alive and growing.
Mount Zion Family Life Centre, Oak Grove Chapel and Norwich Central Baptist Church are all engaged in forward-looking building projects which will extend their capacity to accommodate their congregations and engage with and serve their local communities.
Mount Zion Family Life Centre is working through plans to replace its old building on Heartsease Lane, which was destroyed by fire earlier this year, with a centre which is twice as big and which can hold double the capacity of the old one.
Senior pastor Trevor Pimlott confirmed that the auditorium of the planned building will hold up to 1,500 people and house the church’s 27 different ministries: “We are talking to council planners at the moment,” he said. “We are looking at a glass and steel building, similar in some ways to the Forum in Norwich, with a second storey.”
Also engaged in an ambitious new building project is Oak Grove Chapel in Catton Grove which has joined in partnership with the local authority in an innovative scheme which plans to build a large new community hall with a contribution towards the cost of around £350,000.
The church will be working alongside the new Catton Grove primary school in seeking to develop a 300-seater community hall as part of the new school site. It also plans to renovate its existing chapel building and enlarge its successful charity shop.
The new community hall would be used as a sports hall by the school during the week and the Chapel at the weekend for its activities and to accommodate its growing congregation. It will also be available to be used by other community groups.
Oak Grove senior leader, Ian Savory, said: “This project is about partnership between the school, chapel and other groups. It will give us a venue that can benefit the whole community. The Chapel has been working in this area for 70 years and as such has been proud to be a part of the community, looking at various local issues and encouraging people to also be a part of the wider world. This venue is the next step for us as we grow as a community in confidence and abilities.”
Also building for the future is Norwich Central Baptist Church which has spent almost £900,000 over the last 18 months renovating and refitting the existing church building on Duke Street.
The renovated building consists of a large sanctuary for Sunday worship, a large hall and eight other rooms, as well as a spacious new entrance and foyer area with a coffee bar. The church will continue to use their premises for the many weekday activity groups and as a resource for local businesses and organisations to use.
“We want our launch to reflect our church vision of proclaiming the Good News and being a community that is thoroughly grounded in Scripture,” explained Rev James East. “NCBC’s primary aim is to preach the Gospel, be spirit-led and, ultimately, make Jesus known.”
The church is celebrating the completion of the renovations with a week of thanksgiving and celebration from October 7th – 15th with the theme of Making Jesus Known.
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Pictured above ithe existing hall at Catton Grove school.
Article by Keith Morris