The first Chinese church in East Anglia was established on Monday September 1 at a celebration at Wroxham Road Methodist Church. The journey to get to this point started over a decade ago in a living room in Taverham.
By Helen Baldry
The celebration service was packed with members of both the Chinese and British congregations of Wroxham Road Methodist church
, who each meet at different times on Sundays and enjoy mixing together as well as appreciating the space to worship in their own cultural styles.
Pastor Edmund Tsui
explained how the church grew from a small gathering of seven people to a regular congregation of around 120. Billy Wong
, who owns a fish and chip shop in Sprowston played a prominent part in forming the congregation. Edmond said, “Billy has a great faith...he bought many chairs, and 20 Bibles. Soon after all the chairs were filled!” The church moved to Taverham village hall but soon outgrew the space. In 2003 they moved to Wroxham Road Methodist Church, with pastoral support from church member Margaret Hardingham
, plus many others who helped establish a Sunday school.
The church has officially joined the Methodist circuit. Rev Nigel Fox
, minister at Wroxham Road said, “I felt it was my task to create a space in which the Chinese community would flourish. What has challenged me is the sheer scale of life and vibrancy that we see here.”
The church is able to thrive in its own culture and have the space to do so at Wroxham Road. In the New Year they plan to move to Bowthorpe Road Methodist Church
, which will be beneficial to the many Chinese students at UEA. Nigel said, “Students come to faith here and go back to live and work in China and Hong Kong. The work of God through this congregation is beyond our measure.”
Rev Prof Lo Lung Kwong
, former president of the Hong Kong Methodist Conference preached on Hebrews 13 1-2 and Rev John Fenn
, Superintendent of the Norwich circuit and District Chairman Rev Julian Pursehouse
said prayers and words of blessing to the congregation.
Pictured Left – Right
Rev David Foo, Rev John Fenn, Rev Prof Lo Lung Kwong, Rev Nigel Fox, Rev Julian Pursehouse, Mr Edmond Tsui