The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

New book celebrates 1000-year-old Norwich community

Three Norwich Christians with an eye for history have produced a well-illustrated  hardback called ‘The Bowthorpe Book’ which traces the history of their community from a small Saxon settlement in medieval times to the development of the new £19 million Care Village, west of Norwich. Mike Wiltshire reports.

The book also celebrates the fortieth anniversary of the first residents moving to modern Bowthorpe which includes the vibrant communities of Clover Hill, Chapel Break and Three Score.

Various residents share their memories in the book which also includes a section on the modern community’s beginnings by Ray Simpson, pioneer minister of Bowthorpe Church, which is located alongside the 900-year-old ruin of St Michael and All Angels Church - Bowthorpe’s oldest building.  It is thought that there has been a Christian fellowship in the area for 1,000 years.

Back in 1978, Ray had a vision for ‘one family of Christians for one neighbourhood’ and a new church building opened in 1986.

Keen local historian Dave Blake, one of the co-authors of the 140-page Bowthorpe Book, came up with the book idea which he shared with Sally Simpson, sister of the Rev Ray Simpson, founder editor of the Bowthorpe News. 

Sally, who for many years was also editor of Bowthorpe News, arranged finance for the project and encouraged Dave to work with the book’s main co-writer, Rebecca Domek, “who basically made the book happen with her tireless work,” said Sally.

Following strong demand for The Bowthorpe Book, a paperback reprint is planned for the New Year.

Pictured above are main writer Rebecca Domek (left), co-author Dave Blake and   project co-ordinator Sally Simpson with The Bowthorpe Book.

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