Community engaged by Norwich Beacon church
Hundreds of people in the Earlham area of Norwich are engaging with church thanks to the children and youth work programmes established by The Beacon, plus the opening of a community cafe.
Since February 2014, St Elizabeth’s Church (The Beacon) in Earlham has become a ‘beacon’ to the local community. Lay Pioneer Minister Danny Doran-Smith, who is also the Director of ENYP, has developed programmes for children and youth in the area and established fresh expressions of church to engage with the local community.
In the last year, 14 children and youth engagement projects have been set up in the local area working with children from the age of 5 years old through a range of different clubs, activities and programmes. Over 250 young people now attend these clubs, and working relationships have also been built with the local schools and other organisations.
St Elizabeth’s is holding regular activities on Sundays, including All Age Worship services where a rapidly growing congregation from the local Earlham area now regularly meet to worship. There is also a focus on community engagement and outreach through the café church programmes every third week of the month which have already included special Easter, Mothering Sunday, and social action weekends, the ‘Beacon bake off’, and ‘Beacon’s Got Talent’ to name a few. These outreach opportunities have seen hundreds of people engage with church.
Embedded in the life of the church are also regular prayer events (including 12 hour prayers), worship gatherings and discipleship programmes, women’s events and men’s breakfasts.
Having received almost £10,000 in grants and donations, the kitchen at St Elizabeth’s has recently been refurbished, and The ‘Beacon Café’ a community café will open in February to provide a central space for the community to meet and build relationships. A number of individuals who attend the church will be involved in running the café.
Danny Doran-Smith said, “In the last year we’ve been able to develop a number of children and youth activities alongside fresh expressions of church now reaching out to over 250 individuals on a weekly basis. It is a real privilege to connect with the local community and we look forward to seeing how things develop further in the next few years”.
For more information about the children’s and youth projects taking place in Earlham please visit www.enyp.org.uk
Pictured above: activities held at The Beacon and the newly refurbished cafe