Old Meeting House Congregational Church (1643)

The Best Hidden Church in Norwich

Wood Hath Hope

“What hope is there for the future of the Old Meeting House chapel” must be thought by many who know its recent history? It has a shrinking congregation consisting mainly of elderly members.

 Since becoming the Secretary, God has increasingly brought to my attention words from Job 14: 7-9. There is hope for a tree; if it is cut down, it will sprout again, and it’s shoots will not cease. Even though it’s roots grow old in the earth, and it’s stump die in the dust, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth branches like a young plant.

 Yes, God’s Holy Spirit when we allow Him is breathing new life into this (and many other) Congregational Churches. At a recent conference in Norwich, the bishop (whose father was a Congregational minister) pointed out to the delegates the number of new and exciting Christian initiatives that abound in our nation. He pointed out that this was a certain sign of life and vitality in a church that many folk consider to be dead or dying.

 “A disciple of Christ is dragged out of a situation of relative security into a life of absolute insecurity… out of the realm of the finite, into the realm of infinite possibilities.” So wrote the late Dietrich Bonhoeffer more than 70 years ago yet these words are prophetic for us today as we face an unprecedented time of national and international crisis and change. Let’s change our mindset away from problems to possibilities, from our own limited resources to the limitless resources of the Kingdom of God and all of us will be excited that God saved a handful of Congregational churches in 1972 for just such a time as this.

 John Clements 

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