Churches aim to help transform city

2005: Over 160 church leaders from across Norwich met with senior civic figures at a major conference in June which aimed to help transform the city by getting the Church in Norwich to start working together effectively.

Under the banner of Transforming Norwich, the Churches Together in Greater Norwich grouping the conference at Sprowston Manor Hotel on June 23 aimed to envision the church of the future.

The move was spearheaded by chairman John Betts, who said: “The purpose of the conference was to explore how the church might exist in the future so as to more effectively confront the realities of the present and organise ourselves in a way that will have a transforming effect on the city of Norwich.

“We want to step into the arena with a view to facing the challenge of working together to transform Norwich. To move to more in-depth co-operation in ways which impact our society.

The conference was addressed by Norwich City Council chief executive Anne Seex, Norfolk’s deputy chief constable Simon Taylor, Martin Graham, chief probation officer for Norfolk and Caroline Jarrold, director of corporate affairs at Jarrolds.

John said: “We now want to broaden our approach to include all areas that the church is involved in – evangelism, prayer, celebrating festivals, looking out for the poor and speaking up for Christ.

“The first step was to rebrand Churches Together as Transforming Norwichwith a modern logo that we could use to promote what we are doing. Our next step is to find ways of moving forward as a group. We want to envision the church of the future.”

Other speakers included Mike Love from Leeds Churches Together and Chris Erskine from the Shaftesbury Society.

A new portal website for the Norwich Christian community was also be profiled by Transforming Norwich communications officer Keith Morris.

Published: 29/06/2005