A decade of showing the church in action across Norfolk
2019: In June, Christian charity Celebrate Norfolk is marking ten years of celebrating and showcasing the work of the Christian community across Norwich and Norfolk. Here is a look back over those ten years.
Celebrate was officially launched in June with a three-day event at the Forum and on Millennium Plain in Norwich city centre.
It came out of a much smaller Churches Community Action Fair held in a city church as part of Transforming Norwich. The aim was, and is, to be an expression of all aspects of the life of the local Christian community. It took the form of a series of linked events in mid-June in Norwich city centre.
Bishop Graham James opened the main event at the Forum which featured a Christian Resources and Organisations Exhibition. A highlight was the appearance of the Riding Lights Theatre Company.
A closing service was held on Millennium Plain, attended by 300 people.
Celebrate became a registered charity.
Opening the event in Norwich, The Archdeacon of Norwich, Ven Jan McFarlane, said, “The work that these Christian organisations and churches do, in building a better community for everyone, proves that the new atheists, Dawkins and the like, are quite simply wrong.”
Highlights included Russian singing group Lyra and Chris Duffett from the Light Project painting a giant cross.
On the Sunday afternoon hundreds joined together on Millennium Plain to worship God at a Global Day of Prayer service for Pentecost.
Norwich FGB held a high-profile dinner at the Holiday Inn that heard from Lord Elton and former mafia boss Davey Falcus.
The Norwich exhibition had grown to 30 exhibitors including Christian radio station United Christian Broadcasters.
President of the Baptist Union, Chris Duffett, was also in attendance as were Riding Lights Theatre.
A Celebrate Youth Event at NCBC in the evening featured the Chip Kendall Band and DJ Galactus Jack.
A Sunday closing service was held at St Peter Mancroft.
The three-day event at the Forum was opened by Rev Jonathan Meyrick, Bishop of King’s Lynn and included workshops on Who Let the Dads Out and Footy, Family and Faith.
A café church was held in Bar Marzano and a family picnic in Chapelfield Park.
The Magdalene Group held a public debut screening of The Rose Campaign film My Dangerous Loverboy.
A full programme of entertainment on Millennium Plain on Saturday, was watched by hundreds of people and featured MOBO award-winning Christian rap artist GuvnaB, the Norwich YFC gospel choir and the Dance Off group.
In a World Cup year, cage football from the Norfolk Christian Football League was included as was a Norfolk churches video showreel on a giant World Cup screen on Millennium Plain.
A closing service inside the Forum, featured musician Libby Redman and Ed Walker, chief executive of Christian homelessness charity Hope Into Action.
A two-day event at the Forum was opened by Rev Julian Pursehouse, Chair of East Anglia Methodist District.
The Christian Police Association attended for the first time and Philip Bamber, national director of Good Books For Asia, was on Radio Norfolk.
A closing service was held at St Stephen’s.
Celebrate spread its wings across Norfolk with sister events taking place in King’s Lynn and at the Royal Norfolk Show during June.
In King's Lynn, churches of different denominations came together to stage a free family fun day in The Walks park near the town centre. It was enjoyed by hundreds of local people with live music, inflatable slides, a vast selection of complementary cakes and circus skills.
Celebrate also teamed up with the Diocese of Norwich at the Royal Norfolk Show to put on an exhibition of the church in action across the region in a giant marquee.
In Norwich there was drama from Saltmine Theatre Company and music from a combined 40-strong Norwich churches choir. Norwich YFC Tracks studio van provided a performance zone alongside Messy Church activities.
A panel of Christian leaders from the church, charity sector and the NHS talked about Christian Leadership in Today’s World at a free breakfast seminar at St Stephen’s.
On Sunday there was a free picnic for volunteers to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday and a celebration service followed at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist.
Celebrate again took place in Norwich, King’s Lynn and at the Royal Norfolk Show.
Celebrate Norwich & Norfolk returned to the Forum and Millennium Plain with a free exhibition of over 20 Christian organisations, charities and churches.
The Norwich event was the climax of the Norfolk Feeds 5000 campaign which included research, a website www.norfolkfeeds5000.co.uk and a newspaper supplement demonstrating that the church across Norfolk was regularly feeding more than 7000 people.
There was also a Leaders’ Breakfast, Saltmine Theatre performing Soul in the Machine at St Stephen’s, a combined churches choir, and a children’s and youth programme from Norwich YFC. Free smoothies and snacks were provided courtesy of the Norfolk Feeds 5000 campaign, in conjunction with ENYP and Hope into Action.
Celebrate at The Walks in King's Lynn again ran a free, fun-filled community event for all of the family.
Celebrate was also at Royal Norfolk Show in the Diocese of Norwich marquee showing the church in action across the region.
Events continued in Norwich, King’s Lynn and at the Royal Norfolk Show.
At the Forum in Norwich hundreds of visitors enjoyed music and singing from a range of groups and choirs, hosted by the Norwich YFC Tracks mobile music studio.
A Key to Life interactive mobile education unit gave free presentations on the life of Jesus and there was music from the London School of Theology.
Executive Director of HOPE, Roy Crowne, held a Christian leadership masterclass and then had a series of one-to-one sessions with organisation leaders.
The free family fun day staged by Celebrate King’s Lynn, experienced a massive turnout with more people benefiting from the event than in any previous year.
Celebrate Norwich & Norfolk is marking its tenth anniversary and the team behind the charity has been re-imagining its future to come up with a new-look event for June 2019.