Be our guest! Norwich church group wins Lord Mayor’s procession 2017

The winners of the Lord Mayor's Procession 2017, Alive Church Norwich. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

The winners of the Lord Mayor's Procession 2017, Alive Church Norwich. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes - Credit: Archant

It was a colourful, exciting and above all charitable day - but there can only be one winner.

The Lord Mayor and the Sherriff of Norwich with the winners at City Hall. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

The Lord Mayor and the Sherriff of Norwich with the winners at City Hall. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes - Credit: Archant

A group from Alive Church, Norwich, have been confirmed as the overall winners of the Lord Mayor's procession 2017.

The float designed by the group, to fit with this year's 'Once Upon A Time' theme, was inspired by Beauty and the Beast. Isabelle Connell, 13, and Jono Thorne, 22, both from Alive Church, Norwich, performed during the procession on Saturday, July 8, as Belle and the Beast.

They collected the winner's trophy from City Hall on Wednesday, July 19.

The Disney-inspired float also featured dancers from Wensum Junior School. More than 50 people were involved in putting the float together, with 12 performing as it drove through the streets of Norwich.

One of the runners up, 1st harling Scout Group. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

One of the runners up, 1st harling Scout Group. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes - Credit: Archant

One of the pastors of Alive Church, the Rev Johanna Thorne, said of the group's surprising victory: 'There are amazing skills, talents, and gifts all around you, that you don't know are there. You just have to open the door and there they are.'

She said that they never expected to win, and that she was 'ever so proud', and added how grateful the group were to their sponsors: Paul Athurton Transport, Redds Media, and Hussey Knights.

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The Lord Mayor of Norwich, David Fullman, described this year's procession as 'fantastic'.

He said: 'it must have been very difficult to decide because the standard was so high.

One of the runners up, the Federation of Angel Road Schools. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

One of the runners up, the Federation of Angel Road Schools. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes - Credit: Archant

'The winners really pulled out all the stops, and they convinced the judges, quite rightly, that they were the best'.

He added he felt very strongly about the charity that the proceeds from this year's event will be donated to. The Norwich Integration Partnership is divided into New Routes, English Plus, and Bridge Plus, and provides support for refugees, and others who arrive in Norwich.

Mr Fullman said: 'It's vital that people who come to Norwich are helped to integrate into the community.

'You can't expect people who have come here having gone through hard times, who might have gone through torture, simply to fit into a different society without any help.'

The total raised by the Duck Race. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

The total raised by the Duck Race. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes - Credit: Archant

He added that the donation would: 'raise the charity's profile as well as raising money'.

The total amount raised at the event is yet to be confirmed.

Full list of winners:

Lord Mayor's Procession

Runners up - The Federation of Angel Road Schools; Norwich Star Wars Club; and the 1st Harling Scout Group

Third place - Anglia Region Theatre

Second place - Lakenham Primary School

First place - Alive Church Norwich

Duck Race

Fifth place - Alex Jeffries

Fourth place - Emily Grogutt

Third place - Gemma Haze

Second place - Dawn Shuckford

First place - Jamie Burgess

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