South Norfolk church sparks interest in heaven
A South Norfolk church’s focus on Heaven, including a film showing and discussion course has sparked a lot of interest, increased attendances and an rather unusual request. Keith Morris reports.
In September, Carleton Rode Baptist Church sent a team from the church to visit the homes of people in Carleton Rode, Bunwell, Tibenham and Tacolneston to invite people to its "Heavenly Season".
Pastor Mark Taylor said: “We showed the film "Heaven is for Real" and had 145 people come to see it. People were very interested and it has sparked the conversation about the reality and certainty of heaven amongst our villagers.
“We are currently hosting the "Heaven is for Real" discussion course - a five-week course exploring and discussing the reality of heaven. On our first evening people already were moved emotionally and finding healing for grief which they had carried for years; their healing was very noticeable and moving.”
The chapel itself is currently themed as a heavenly scene, with clouds floating across the ceiling and swags of material draped around columns.
To finish off the season, the chapel has Ian McCormack (The Jellyfish Man) coming on Wednesday December 3 to share about his encounter with God.
Mark said: “The really amazing thing is this - people seem to be wanting to talk about heaven and its reality, it seems that life has got so difficult, fearful, or stressful for so many people that the hope of heaven at the end of life, and to live with its real blessing in our lives now is bringing healing, purpose and hope to people
“I am convinced that this is the season to go to all people - the healthy and sick, strong and weak, prosperous and poor - and tell them of the God who has made a home and hope for them which will endure beyond life, and more importantly the King of this Kingdom is with us now, the benefits of this Kingdom wholeness are not just a future hope but also a real and present influence on life.”
Appeal for communion tray
One unintended consequence of the heavenly season is the church’s need for a new communion tray because of the increased numbers attending and Network Norfolk readers are being asked to help find one.
Chris Jaggard from the church explained: “We have been privileged to see a good number of new people joining us in recent months, for which we praise God! This has brought us one small problem - we need another communion tray.
“We wondered if there is someone in the Norfolk church community who might have a surplus one we could buy. Ideally we would like to find something similar to the ones we currently have which are 'silvertone', fairly lightweight, round with 36 holes each and a handle. Anything would be useful, especially with a handle and with or without the glasses.”
If you can help, please contact Chris Jaggard at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on 01379 677279 or 07860 267430
Pictured above is Carleton Rode Baptist Church and the communion tray being held by Mike and Heather Frost, who often prepare the communion, inside the church’s coffee shop.