All-day family celebration of Norwich’s Christian community
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017
The generosity of the area's Christian community was celebrated at an all-day event in Norwich city centre.
The Celebrate Norwich and Norfolk festival kicked off at the Forum on Saturday morning, with civic leaders and visitors gathering to hear an opening speech by the Salvation Army's major Barry Willson, who coordinates the Norwich Soup Run.
Major Willson spoke about his work and the Norfolk Feeds 5000 research project which has demonstrated that the Norfolk Christian community feeds over 7,000 different people every month through dozens of different food-related projects.
NorfolkFeeds5000 was also represented at Celebrate by ENYP and Hope into Action setting up a food stall to supply fred smoothies, cake and soup to anyone who wanted it. ENYP director Danny Doran Smith said: 'We want to share God's love for people through the message of Norfolk Feeds 5000.' The stall supplied around 2,000 items of food during the day.
The Celebrate event also included a Christian Social Action and Projects exhibition with Norwich Foodbank, Community Action Norwich, Mother's Union, Norfolk Healing Rooms, Christians Against Poverty, OMF International, the Leprosy Mission and Christian Vision for Men among others.
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Norwich Youth for Christ organised activities for young people including a football cage, sideshow games and a programme of musical performances from its Tracks mobile studio van.
There were performances from a number of singers and groups as well as the Chapel Community Choir from St Stephen's church, the Catton Community Choir and the Thorpe Community Choir.
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There was also a short performance from Saltmine Theatre Company who, on Saturday evening, performed Soul in the Machine at St Stephen's Church.
Celebrate project director John Betts said: 'Our focus this year was on NorfolkFeeds5000. The stories of changed lives because someone cared enough to freely give a generous food parcel, provide a meal or just give a cup of coffee, are wonderful to hear. Christians do this because Jesus calls upon us to do so and because we care for our communities.
'Our aim, as we celebrate the work of the Christian community across Norwich & Norfolk, is to showcase a few of the many activities which go on 24/7 serving at all levels of our society. Frequently going where others don't go because the love of Christ persuades us to do so.'