Norwich preacher and City Church founder
2007: City Church founder and Norwich preacher Graham Thorne
died on October 13, aged 73. His son, and City Church senior minister, Philip Thorne,
Graham Thorne 1934-2007: Called home on 13th October.
Graham, born in Darlaston, Walsall and brought up in Margate, moved to Norwich in 1967 and joined the AOG Church in St Giles where he worshipped for ten years. Most Saturdays he could be found on Gentleman’s Walk carrying a text banner, preaching and distributing Christian literature; unless there was a football match on, he’d then be at the Norwich city football ground handing out tracts, which he often printed himself.
He loved having the opportunity to personally witness to people about Jesus. It was particularly during this time that Graham got to know many people from different churches in the city.
It was in 1985 that Graham, along with myself and six others founded City Church, which began its life meeting in homes. Right from its early days Graham started recording the meetings and producing literature. It wasn’t long before he also began to video events including weddings and baptisms.
In 1997 Graham, a founding trustee, became an elder and leader. He believed passionately in teaching the Word of God and seeing it applied to people’s everyday lifestyles, and real relationships were his joy. Graham continued, for the remainder of his life, enthusiastic about the church’s core value of ministry to the Lord, ministry to one another and ministry to the world.
He was a great support in his teaching, his love for the people, his demonstrative worship and his commitment in assisting people to catch and come into the vision of the church.
Graham went to be with the Lord weak in body but strong in God. Right up to the end his faith was strong and he grabbed my arm and pressed me to remain strong in the Word of God and to preach it in its context and with conviction.
While we will all miss him, we are indebted to him for his example, his ministry, his witness, his love and his encouragement; knowing this that one day we will be forever reunited in God’s presence with great joy.
Graham’s funeral will take place at City Christian Centre, Nelson Street on Friday 2nd November at 10.20am, followed by a committal at St Faiths Crematorium at 1.15pm.
Everyone who knew him is most welcome to attend the service and committal and afterwards at the Wake at the Norwich Airport Holiday Inn from 1.45pm. (If you do not wish to attend the committal at St Faiths, light refreshments will be available at City Christian Centre). Floral sprays or donations to Gordon Barber, 317 Alysham Road, Norwich, NR3 2AB. Flowers to be received by Gordon Barber by 8am on 2nd Nov.
If you would like to pay a tribute to Graham or leave your memories of him, please add them below.