Church double celebrations set to raise the roof
There will be a double celebration at Bowthorpe Church at 3pm on Saturday October 15 – to mark 30 years since the church was established in its present form and also to bless the new roof, which has recently been completed at a cost of nearly £73,000.
Invited guests include the Rt Revd Graham James, Bishop of Norwich; Revd Catherine Hutton, Superintendent Minister of the Norwich Methodist Church; Revd Richard Lewis, Regional Minister of the Eastern Baptist Association; Revd Paul Whittle, Moderator of the Eastern Synod of the United Reformed Church; and representatives from the Catholic Church, Syrian Orthodox Church and Quakers, all of whom have met or currently meet in the church premises. It is hoped that the Lord Mayor of Norwich, Councillor Marion Maxwell, and other local dignitaries will also be present.
Bowthorpe Church lies at the heart of the community of Bowthorpe, having been established in 1986 as a Local Ecumenical Partnership supported by a number of mainstream Christian denominations and sponsored by the Anglican, Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed Churches. It stands next to the ruins of the medieval church of St Michael and All Angels, which dates from around 1200.
The new roof replaces the original, which began to leak a few years ago. The church and the local community raised more than £22,000 towards its cost, the remainder having been met through various grants. One of the most enterprising means of raising the necessary funds was to invite the church congregation and members of the local community to sign a tile at a cost of £5 per tile. Among those who took part was Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich South and Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, who added his congratulations “to everyone who contributed towards reaching the target and being able to restore the roof of this much-valued community facility”.
As the signed tiles were of a slightly different colour to the ones used for the rest of the roof, the contractors have been able to position them to form crosses on the sides of the new roof.
Bowthorpe Church minister Revd Mark Elvin said: “This will be a joyful double celebration of all that Christ has done in Bowthorpe over the past decades.”
Pictured above is MP Clive Lewis signing one of the new church roof tiles.