Unity WitardRoad540
Norwich churches demonstrate century of unity

MadelineLight350By Keith Morris
2011: Christians in Norwich have been gathering together for over 100 years to celebrate their unity in prayer and worship, a united church service in the city was told last night.
The special service, with representatives from dozens of city churches, was held at the recently opened Witard Road Baptist Church worship hall on January 17 as part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Opening the service, chair of Transforming Norwich, Rev Madeline Light (pictured above), told the 130-strong audience that such meetings had been taking place in the city for exactly 102 years: “It is nothing new for us to gather together for worship and prayer,” she said, “and we are often not very nice to each other - and that doesn’t please God. But because of his graciousness, we are still able to demonstrate unity.”

The Norwich Youth for Christ Gospel Choir (pictured above and below) enthusiastically led the worship.
Representatives of St John’s RC Cathedral and Norwich Family Life Church gave readins before the Very Rev Graham Smith, Dean of Norwich Cathedral, spoke about the importance of silence in prayer and worship.
“We are often influenced by the media in our worship,” he said, “with a constant flow of images and words. In some ways we have been seduced by the entertainment industry and the need to keep people constantly entertained. But I believe we need to rediscover silence in worship,” said Very Rev Smith.
“Shared silence can be a wonderful way of sharing with people the goodness of God. In silence and solitude we can refresh our minds and hearts and demonstrate more creativity and imagination,” he said.
The congregation we called to a commitment of unity, demonstrated vividly by Sarah Mintey, from Today’s Lifestyle Church, through the act of every person present tying together small ribbons to make one long chain which was then symbolically placed at the foot of a wooden cross.
Further local events to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity include:

A chain of prayer day on Thursday 20th January in St Luke's Chapel in Norwich Cathedral from 9.30am - 5pm. Churches in and around Norwich are allocated a slot to keep the prayer chain going. Everyone is welcome to join in at any point throughout the day.

A further event hosted by Transforming Norwich in conjunction with Unite and Call to Prayer is to be held on Wednesday 2 February at The Fishergate Centre, Norwich where Jane Holloway will speak about making the most of the opportunities before us. The event is aimed at church and ministry leaders and includes a buffet lunch afterwards.


An evening event open to all will take place at Fishergate at 7.30pm on Wednesday 2nd February, hosted by Call to Prayer. Jane will be speaking on Making room for the presence of Jesus. No booking is necessary.


Jane Holloway works at the World Prayer Centre in Birmingham. Currently her job involves heading up national prayer strategies. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear at first hand about the hitherto unprecedented wave of prayer that is sweeping across our nation at this critical time, building up to the royal wedding and the 2012 Olympics.

Event details


Event: Chain of Prayer

Date: Thursday 20th January

Time: 9.30am - 5pm

Venue: st Luke's Chapel, Norwich Cathedral


Event: Jane Holloway talk for church leaders

Date: Wednesday 2nd February

Time: 10am - 12.30pm

Venue: The Fishergate Centre, Norwich NR3 1SE

RSVP: Jill Gower (Prayer Co-ordinator), 50 St Mary’s Road, Framlingham Earl, Norwich, NR14 7SS; 07890 132362;  


Event: Jane Holloway open meeting

Date: Wednesday 2nd February
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: The Fishergate Centre, Norwich NR3 1SE 


Published: 18/01/2011