S Norfolk’s tin church buoyed by community outreach
The pastor of a South Norfolk Tin Tabernacle has described how his rural church is thriving, through Open the Book outreach, good links with the community and enthusiastic worship, and appeals for a projector to aid their services.
Saxlingham Nethergate Chapel, almost 10 miles south of Norwich, is one of the original Tin Tabernacles, constructed from corrugated metal. It was intended as a temporary structure when it was established by Norwich’s Surrey Chapel in 1887, 132 years ago. But today it continues to stand strong with a dedicated congregation.
Pastor Ian Masson attributes the small rural church’s strength to its community outreach, love of God and wonderful worship aided by the excellent acoustics.
A team from Saxlingham Chapel go into Saxlingham Nethergate Church of England VC Primary School each week to tell Bible stories as part of the ‘Open the Book’ initiative. Ian also makes regular contributions to the monthly village Contact Magazine and has an annual programme of popular open-invitation events.
It is a story of triumph over adversity as in the 1970s, the church's days looked numbered. Pastor Ian Masson said: “During the 1970’s when worshippers were few it is thanks to the faithfulness of the Moore family, farmers in Saxlingham, that weekly Sunday Services were always held; the doors were kept open, and a vital Christian witness was maintained in the village.”
Chapel Service congregations are now regularly over thirty with the building full on special occasions. And the Tin Tabernacle’s metal structure provides superb acoustics, for the congregation's enthusiastic singers.
Now Pastor Ian Masson is appealing to the Norfolk Christian community for a projector to aid the church's services. He said: “We really want to be able to project hymns and songs onto a screen in the Chapel and are wondering if any larger Churches may have a projector that they no longer require. We do have a large screen but no suitable projector. We’d love to hear from anyone that may be able to help.”
If you can help please contact Pastor Ian Masson on 01603 396 959.