Transforming Norwich AGM hears of future plans
The AGM of ecumenical churches group Transforming Norwich yesterday (July 5) heard the Bishop of Norwich talk about prayer and the executive team outline the past year and its future plans.
Speaking to around 30 Christian leaders at the Old Norfolk and Norwich Chapel off St Stephens Road in Norwich city centre, Bishop Graham James referred to recent events such as the Grenfell Tower fire in London.
He said: “When people are faced with the reality of death they often turn to the church and to prayer. Prayer is the heart’s desire for God and prayer leads people to see Jesus.”
Retiring Transforming Norwich chairman, Danny Doran-Smith, said: “We want to create unity in relationships. Unity is not uniformity – it is when we tolerate diversity and our differences. We want to move forward in harmony as a group of leaders but we are not all the same, we are different.
“In Transforming Norwich, we want to see a flat hierarchy, we will be marching forward in massed ranks together. I need you and you need me and together we will see the Kingdom of God advance.”
Ian Dyble, from St Thomas Norwich, spoke about relational unity: “What a joy it is to be a church leader in this city. You can’t force unity but you can choose it and to serve others. We are friends in the Gospel and the more of us there are, the more effective we are and the more people will meet God. We need people who will only speak well of each other, encourage and bless one another out of relationship.”
Toby Skipper, from Kings, outlined an agreed future purpose and definition for Transforming Norwich (download in full here).
“Transforming Norwich is an umbrella term for Christian Churches, charities and organisations who have affirmed their belief in the Nicene Creed and are committed to developing relationships that reflect the love of God, across the Greater Norwich area, for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Its two main activities will be organising bi-monthly leaders lunches and helping with communication between churches, largely through supporting the Network Norwich & Norfolk website.
Transforming Norwich is not a pastoral or governing authority, it is not the voice for the church in Norwich, is not a charity and does not run any other events or start projects.
Each church, organisation or charity must affirm their belief in the Nicene Creed.
Madeline Light, from St Stephen’s, then outlined how to join and pay a subscription to Transforming Norwich and that the future core team will not have a chairman, but will be a flat hierarchy with members taking it in turns to chair meetings. There is one current vacancy on the core team, with Jill Gower stepping down and all others serving for another year.
Keith Morris, from Network Norwich & Norfolk, thanked Transforming Norwich for its ongoing support for the website and how during the past 12 months around 100,000 different people had visited the website with 5,500 as regular email, Twitter and Facebook contacts.
Trevor Pimlott from Soul Church spoke about the plan to hold bi-monthly leaders lunches over the next year and Nick Blanch, from Norwich YFC, closed in prayer.
Download the chairman’s report
Download the current financial update
Pictured top is Bishop Graham James addressing the AGM of Transforming Norwich and, above, Ian Dyble.