Norwich's most hidden church offers welcome
Norwich’s most hidden church has given potential visitors another way to find it by relaunching its website ahead of heritage open days in September.
The Old Meeting House Congregational Chapel has been described as the most hidden and unknown chapel in Norwich, to be found down a long side alley off Colegate in the city centre.
With a large and historical building but a small congregation, the chapel is keen to make more people aware of its services and activities.
To this end, Church Secretary and Associate Pastor John Clements enlisted the help of his son Timothy to launch a new website www.oldmeetinghousechurch.org.uk last August.
John said: “Last year I had been invited to preach at a small chapel in Norfolk. After the service, over a coffee, someone told me that she had recently heard about a chapel which had been facing closure but after launching a website, within a year their situation had greatly improved. I took this as a word of encouragement from the Lord as my own Chapel has not attracted any new members for quite some time.
“To date we have had over 9,500 visitors to the site. This is still a work in progress but the site has definitely helped to open up doors and we do believe that God is using it to enlarge the ministry of the Old Meeting House Congregational Chapel which has been the most hidden and unknown Chapel in Norwich.”
The church was founded more than 350 years ago in days when the church fathers were forbidden to erect a building, and were subject to all manner of penalties for the crime of being Nonconformists and Dissenters. Because of this they were forced to meet in secret under cover of darkness in people’s own homes.
John said: “At the Old Meeting you can be assured of a warm welcome, lots of coffee and tea in addition to personal prayer and attention. We are very informal and seek to find ways to unpack the truths of Scripture to meet our everyday needs.”
The church is also building up to the Norwich HEART heritage weekend in September when special open events and services will be put on in the church to attract visitors.
Pictured top is the Old Meeting House in Norwich and, above, John Clements.