Mark Fairweather Tall

Festival 344... 12th-19th May

08/05/2013 16:21

Final preparations are being made for Festival 344 - a week of events put on by the four Baptist Churches in Norwich: Norwich Central Baptist Church, Costessey Baptist Church, Silver Road Baptist Church and Witard Baptist Church. You can see the varied and full programme below. It is happening because the ministers of the churches, David Adams, James East, Ian Charles and myself have a heart to see closer relationships between Baptist Christians in the city. Why is it important?


There are many good reasons for coming together. First and most important is that I believe the Bible encourages us in this: My mind goes to Psalm 133:1 "How good and how pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity." Quite simply there is joy in being together. Paul speaks in some of his letters about the joy a church in a particular place gives him. For example in Philippians 1:3-4 we read: "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now..." Over the last year we have moved towards the Festival through a shared sermon series and joint Sunday evening services. Personally I have really enjoyed meeting and getting to know more and more people from these churches through our times together. This has been a real joy to me (and many others who have commented about how much they have enjoyed these times). We can bless each other simply by being together.  


John records in his gospel the prayer of Jesus just before he is arrested; it is a prayer for all believers "May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (Ch17:23) We hope that in being closer together we will be a stronger witness to the world. As one of the larger churches in Norwich we are well resourced in many ways. We have a responsibility to be generous and support other churches so that they can be more effective in growing God's Kingdom.  To that end some of our muscians are on a rota to play at one of the smaller churches and some of our members have started to worship regularly with them. Another example of resourcing is with the Fun Day on 19th May. It is being held in the Silver Road area to help them reach out to the community around them. On their own they would not be able to run such an afternoon but toghether we can. 


For me these are two very important areas - the joy of fellowship and the responsibility of being messengers of Good News to our city. The Festival isn't the end of this process but simply another step on the journey. Where next? I am looking forward to finding out. 









Sunday 12th

Evening Launch of F344

6.15pm for refreshments; 6.30pm for main service

The evening starts with cakes and drinks. There will be worship and a message from Ian Bunce.

Witard Road BC

Monday 13th

Day of Prayer

10am – 4pm

All 4 churches will be open for prayer. People are encouraged to visit all 4.

Costessy BC, Norwich Central BC, Silver Road BC, Witard Road BC

Tuesday 14th

Combined Luncheon Club & Afternoon Entertainment

12pm for 12.30pm – 3.30pm

A lovely lunch that will finish by 2pm. Followed by entertainment, including songs from the shows, nostalgia quiz, a sing-along and a cup of tea COST £3.50

Norwich Central BC

Wednesday 15th

Witard Worship Wednesday

7.30pm – 9pm

A great time of praising the Lord for His faithfulness to us over 344 years.

Witard Road BC

Thursday 16th

History Walk

10am – 12pm

Local historian Alan Gidney will conduct the walk.  Soup and rolls and donuts served at the church afterwards.

Silver Road BC

Thursday 16th

The Seriously Funny Tour

7.30pm – 9.30pm

Geoff Lucas and Adrian Plass bring their internationally famous event to Norwich.         SOLD OUT

Norwich Central BC

Friday 17th

‘The Great Baptist Bake Off’

7pm – 9pm

Could you win the coveted crown of ‘Greatest Baptist Baker’?  Put your cake into the mix and into the tummies of the judges – local celebrities and your local Baptist ministers! 

Norwich Central BC

Saturday 18th

Holiday Club

Fun Day

10am –12.30pm

12.00 - 3pm


George White Junior School

Sunday 19th

Pentecost Sunday ‘Four Churches – One Message’

Normal Sunday service times

The congregations gather in their local churches to hear a concluding message by Ian Bunce.

Costessy BC, Norwich Central BC, Silver Road BC, Witard Road BC

Sunday 19th

‘Global Day of Prayer’ closing event

6.30pm – 8pm

Join with Christians throughout the world in prayer for the world.

Anglican Cathedral


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