In the name of Christ we offer a warm welcome and encouragement in your Christian journey.
Welcome to a friendly, active church with a membership of 204, from various backgrounds and countries, and of all ages.
Come and join us!
10.30 am (with activities for all ages);
6.30 pm (Upper Room)
─ Holy Communion as announced.
12.15 – 12.45 pm (Upper Room)
─ Holy Communion as announced.
1.00-1.30 pm Prayers for healing (Upper Room);
6.00 pm Service in Swahili on alternate weeks (Upper Room).
Check here for details of the Sunday Worship Services during August 2015.
Sunday 30 August 2015
Morning Bible readings:
Isaiah 42: 1-9; Matthew 16: 13-20
Revd Alec Callaby
Join us for refreshments after the service, upstairs in the Hall – there is a lift
Worship in the Upper Room
Sunday 6 September 2015
Revd Catherine Hutton
Covenant Service including Holy Communion
Revd Catherine Hutton
Worship in the Upper Room
Visitors are always welcome amongst us. On arrival, please make yourself known to one of the Stewards or the Minister.
John and Maureen Fenn—a Fond Farewell
I am writing this just after an amazing church family weekend, both at Chapel Field Road and within the Circuit. The common factor to each was the desire of a very large number of people to say “thank you” and farewell to John and Maureen. (Not, as many speakers said, “to make sure he has gone”!!)
The family party on Saturday evening—a Second Saturday event for which we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Pauline Mann—had the largest number of people present that anyone could recall. The meal was sumptuous (thanks to Pam Parker Brown and her team) and the entertainment enjoyable.
That evening summed up many aspects of John and Maureen’s time with us as it combined amazing hospitality with a love and music and a sense of fun. Many present were able to testify to their own personal sense of having received from the benefits of John’s many talents and Maureen’s huge and hospitable support, allied to a knowledge that all was offered in loving gratitude to God who first loved, and loves us.
The Sunday morning worship, at Chapel Field Road, was also packed as we celebrated together in the feast at God’s table and John reminded us of what has always been at the core of his Ministry. ALL are welcome in this house and at this table.
Then, on Sunday afternoon, at Wymondham College, we celebrated in amazing style with folk from all over the Circuit. Again we shared food together—though this time it was a family picnic. This also reflected another of John’s regular themes, the joy to be found in the offering which each of us can bring to the feast, as disciples of Christ. John’s friend and fellow Minister, Revd Peter Bates, reminded us, in his sermon, of the immense privilege we all share in the love of God given freely for each of us, and the special privilege of those called to Ministry. And, we had a wonderful sing; singing our faith as Methodists, not least John, love to do.
At the Saturday party, Alan Rix reminded those gathered, when speaking in tribute to John and Maureen, of John’s family background in Norfolk and of his love for the Broads where he hopes to spend more time enjoying the lively waters in his boat, now he has ‘sat down’. It was hardly a surprise that John, after a short career as a teacher of languages, when called to the Ministry, should follow his initial ministerial post in Orpington, Kent, by a call to East Anglia. First to Lowestoft, then Great Yarmouth and then to Chapel Field Road in Norwich.
Alan reminded us of Helen Freeston’s comments of John and his ‘awesome’ theological knowledge and experience of Methodism. John the teacher has led many discussion groups and helped many to unravel the mysteries of faith and to understand the Bible better. She had also written of the importance of his readiness to own his own weaknesses and, in so doing, allow us all to accept our own and so move on in faith and love.
How do you sum up the Ministry of the Fenns? An almost impossible task for someone who has served the Lord in so many ways and over so many years.
For me, and for Alan, Maureen has offered a wonderful sense of pastoral care—those amazingly helpful and encouraging e-mails. She has also worked hard to re-establish the church website alongside many other practical rôles. Her contributions to the pantomimes were fantastic both for her wonderful sense of fun and for putting it into words and action in a way not made easy by physical limitations.
John? Well, we realised early on that he was different, as he disappeared from the pulpit in worship to sing with the tenors or play his recorder. As he struggled with the Plan we were reminded that he had told us from the very start that administration was not his strength. That the Plan always came out, reasonably on time and accurate, was a measure of persistence and determination rather than natural gifting!
At the heart of all this lies a man of God who is at times as frail as the rest of us as a human being, but in all things living out what it means to make all welcome and then to love them into the Church and kingdom. Always underlying his Ministry has been an offering of generous, loving, hospitality from which so many have benefitted.
Thank you, John and Maureen. Go in joy, go in love, go in peace.
with grateful thanks to Alan Rix and Helen Freeston
God in the Arts
He gave us eyes to see them:
Amid the hectic, busy lives we lead, many people fall under the control of ‘the hurry syndrome.’ We have to do ‘A’ as soon as possible, and we have to get to ‘B’ as soon as possible. And along the way we have phone calls to make, emails to open, and Facebook and twitter and all the social media to check. It means that we often go through the world without giving the world a second glance. This year in these articles we are going to pause, and, as the poet says, ‘stand and stare.’ Each month we shall be looking at a painting that celebrates the wonder, the joy, the mystery, and the marvel of the created world in which we live.
The Golden Fish
By Paul Klee
A few years ago I was sponsored by the Mothers’ Union in my diocese to go ‘swimming with sharks’ at the Blue Planet Aquarium near Chester. The prospect seemed daunting, but it proved to be a magical, memorable experience. When I went down into the water, it was like entering a new world—somehow both alien and attractive at the same time. Mantra rays swam lazily by, and small fish gathered at my feet, inquisitive and waiting to be massaged by falling stones from my hand. The magic of that water-world is caught vividly in this month’s painting, ‘The Golden Fish’ by Paul Klee.
Paul Klee was a Swiss painter who lived in Germany until he was expelled in 1933. He died seven years later, but in his lifetime produced some 9000 works of art, each one displaying inventiveness and versatility. ‘The Golden Fish,’ painted in 1925, portrays a unique creature gliding serenely through its underwater kingdom. The gold scales, the red fins and the powerful eye provide a sharp contrast to the deep blue sea where other smaller fish are swimming to the edges of the canvas.
Is the artist showing us that secret, mysterious world that lies beneath the surface of the water, or is it simply an aquarium in his own house? Whichever it is, he is introducing us to a world that we, who live on the solid land beneath our feet, take for granted. Seven-tenths of our world is water, and our planet is really one gigantic aquarium. We can travel to the coasts of our island and see the great sea stretching out before us. It may bring to mind sandcastles and summer holidays, or a boat trip when the choppy waves made us feel queasy, or the memory of pirate stories about galleons and treasure, or the squawk of seagulls over our heads. Here in this painting, Paul Klee is telling us something of the nobility and wonder of this primeval element.
The opening pages of scripture introduce us to the great waters of creation, when the wind of God swept over the face of the deep, and separated the seas from the dry land. On the fifth day God said, ‘Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures,’ and God saw that it was good. Rupert Brooke in his poem, ‘Heaven,’ imagines that world of fishes and sea creatures pondering what is beyond this element of water, just as we on land ponder the future of our world.
‘Somewhere, beyond Space and Time, is wetter water, slimier slime!
And there (they trust) there swimmeth One who swam ere rivers were begun,
Immense of fishy form and mind, Squamous, omnipotent and kind;
And under that Almighty Fin The littlest fish may enter in…
And in that Heaven of all their wish, There shall be no more land, say fish.’
Poet and painter invite us to ponder the majestic glory of this element of sea and ocean which is part of God’s good creation. In ‘The Golden Fish’ we glimpse something of the wonder of life it contains and find ourselves echoing the psalmist in Psalm 104: ‘Here is the immeasurable sea in which move creatures beyond number. Countless are the things thou has made, O Lord. Thou hast made all by thy wisdom.’