Church celebrating its 80th birthday
- Credit: Supplied
A Norwich church will be celebrating its 80th birthday this weekend with a family fun day and a special service.
Oak Grove Community Church, formerly known as Oak Grove Chapel, had a humble beginning in October 1935 as an old converted stable, which was known as Oak Grove Hall.
On its first Sunday, almost 300 children turned up for Sunday school. During the next 30 years, both the congregation and the outreach work taking place from the Catton Grove Road site grew and prompted the building of a new chapel, which was completed in April 1967.
Today the chapel building is used for a variety of church and community activities every day of the week, including a drop-in coffee morning, a foodbank distribution point and many children's, youth and family activities.
With increasing congregation numbers, for two to three years the church held two Sunday services every week at the chapel.
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In 2007 it moved the congregation to the Hub, at Catton Grove Primary School where it continues to meet for a weekly service together, while still retaining the chapel building as an outreach base.
Darren Woodward, senior pastor, said: 'As an integral part of the Catton Grove community on the north side of Norwich, Oak Grove as an organisation, as a church and as a group of people have seen considerable change and development over its life so far and we have experienced many opportunities for celebration, but have also had tougher times where we have had to show compassion and comfort too.
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'The decision was made a year ago to rename the church from Oak Grove Chapel to Oak Grove Community Church because it expresses more of who we are, as we believe that church is not representative of a place you go, but is who we are as a group of people.
'As we celebrate 80 years we want to pay tribute and give thanks to all of those who have been part of and served us as a community over the years.'
The celebrations will start with a family fun day from 1pm to 4.30pm on Saturday including stalls, refreshments, activities and a performance by the Catton Community Choir.
Entrance is free and there will be a professional photographer available to take photographs.
On Sunday there will be a celebration service at 10am, followed by a lunch where people are invited to take their own food and share it with others.
Known for its warm and welcoming nature, the Oak Grove community recently shared its views on the current refugee crisis saying that refugees are 'welcome'.
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