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New 2,500-seat £5m church plan for Norwich 

PimlottsDacreWebBy Keith Morris
Two Norwich churches have joined forces and are drawing up plans for a new 2,500 capacity church and community centre complex, costing £5m, on the outskirts of the city.
One year after a fire destroyed the Mount Zion Family Life Centre building on Heartsease Lane, the church has announced plans to merge with Drayton Hall Church to become the Norwich Family Life Church with immediate effect. The current congregation numbers around 400.
The new combined church is talking to Broadland District Council about a plan to build a £5 million church and community centre on the 32-acre former David Rice Hospital site on Drayton High Road.
The pastoral teams from the two churches are joining together to include Alan Pimlott, Graham Dacre, Trevor Pimlott and Bud Pimlott.
Pastor Trevor Pimlott said: “We are very excited about the possibility of building on the David Rice site and we will be talking to Broadland District Council about using the site to build a church and community centre fit for the 21st century. In respect of the Heartsease Lane site we will be looking to maximise its opportunity and potential also. Watch this space.”
Graham Dacre, who attended and oversaw the Drayton Hall Church, said: “I am delighted to be part of a larger new church and all it will offer to the city of Norwich. It would certainly be great to see the David Rice Hospital site redeveloped for church and community use. Clearly we will need the support of all at Broadland District Council.”
Pastor Trevor Pimlott said: “These are truly remarkable days and I am delighted with the developments and news. My heart is to be a positive influence within our city, invest for future generations and be of value to thousands of families in the coming years. We are concerned for all ages and the new church will therefore care and provide for all from the cradle to the grave. Life is becoming increasingly challenging and complex and our goal is to provide answers and hope. Together we will respond to the needs of all around us, in Drayton, Heartsease and in Norfolk. It is great news all round.”
Since the fire 12 months ago, the Mount Zion church has met at Drayton Hall. Community projects have continued at Heartsease from urgently constructed temporary buildings, and activities cater for all ages from pre-school to special events for the more senior members of the community.
Discussion with the local authority indicated the Heartsease site was no longer sufficient for all that is planned in the future and over recent weeks consideration has been given to the former hospital site on Drayton High Road. The 32-acre site was purchased by the Lind Trust ten years ago. 
The envisaged cost of development for a church and community centre on this site is £5 million. The proposed structure for the new church building is glass and steel – a beautiful, architecturally significant building. Discussions are underway with Broadland District Council and plans will be submitted in due course.
Christine Field, a spokesperson for the new church, said: “It’s not often churches come together so it’s all the more exciting. As a church we embrace the opportunity to work with Graham and Julie Dacre. They have a heart for young people as can be seen in their support for the Open Youth Venue project. Branding for the new church is being developed and will be released in due course.
"The approximate time scale for completion is 2009. As for the scale - we hope to build it as big as planners will allow ... clearly there is still a lot to discuss with planners. A sanctuary to seat 2,500 has always been the vision. On the 32-acre site there is plenty of space for numerous community facilities and activities to impact and benefit our city and all of these will be explored with planning”.
The plans were announced to leaders of the Mount Zion Family Life Centre church at a dinner on Friday evening at the Holiday Inn in Norwich and shared with the congregation on Sunday morning.
The leaders of churches throughout Norwich will be receiving personal communication of these announcements by letter this week.
Pictured above are new Norwich Family Life Church pastors Alan Pimlott (left), Graham Dacre, Trevor Pimlott and Bud Pimlott.


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gordan (Guest) 13/03/2007 12:15
i second that brenda...

sue - heartsease (Guest) 13/03/2007 12:37
it looks like helens peace will not last...praying for you helen
Sue (Guest) 13/03/2007 13:59
Its gonna awfully quiet Helen, are you still there?
Joe (Guest) 14/03/2007 15:27
furthermore i agree with Gordon, 'the lord loves a cheerful giver' I once put money in the offering when i had little cash, soon after I acme across £10
Mr Read 24/03/2007 09:30
Does Graham Dacre believe in creationism?
Heather (Guest) 25/03/2007 20:29
May the kingdom of God be brought about by these churches joining together - big church isn't for everyone but for many people they find a home there and can grow in God. Lets celebrate that rather than exchanging comments that don't build each other up.
Jr. (Guest) 28/03/2007 20:37
The Church is the bride of Christ, we need to treat it with respect. That includes how we talk about it.

God embraces our differences, it's why He created us as individuals. Therefore He will appreciate the fact different types of church reach different people.
Just because you may have a different way of looking at an issue Daphne, does not mean it is a 'load of rubbish', especially when you have most probably got the wrong end of the stick in the first place.
You cannot throw around statements like 'mount zion is a load of trouble' when you have nothing to support it. For many it has been anything BUT trouble; it has guided them in living a life that glorifies God, supported them in times of turmoil, lifted them up so they can follow their dreams.

If this church did not please God it would not be bearing fruit. Its flourishing, it loves Jesus, it reaches out to the community, it's passionate about saving the lost, and is HOME to all its members.
Jr. (Guest) 28/03/2007 20:38
one correction in the last post, replace 'load of trouble' with 'nothing but trouble'

God bless
Louise (Guest) 28/03/2007 22:25
I was baptized in the old Mount Zion in Nelson Road in Norwich (?) and have since been to the one that got burnt down a few times. I was terribly shocked and upset when I haeard the news of the fire.

It only goes to show that God alwsys comes out on top! Praise the Lord!
Glenn smith (Guest) 29/03/2008 20:51
let the truth be spoken, its the truth and the light in people with the power of the Holy Spirit which can and will convict and change a persons Heart. Darkness and Evil is spreading more in peoples lives more each day with temptation, if people only knew the power of Gods Holy Spirit. Norwich-Norfolk-England could be a Respectable, Holy place to live in again. I hope and pray this new church with these Good Pasters will be a place for many unsaved people to have their hearts transformed and truely be saved. If the heart of man is willing to build Gods house where people may repent and stay on the straight and narrow, what a blessing it must be for Our Father in Heaven. Thanks be to God. God Bless
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