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10,000 people expected to attend Christmas spectacular

PUBLISHED: 06:00 01 December 2019

SOUL Church's production of The Wonder in 2018. Photo: Courtesy of SOUL Church

SOUL Church's production of The Wonder in 2018. Photo: Courtesy of SOUL Church

Courtesy of SOUL Church

A record-breaking 10,000 people are expected to watch a free festive celebration at a family church.

SOUL Church's production of The Wonder in 2018. Photo: Courtesy of SOUL ChurchSOUL Church's production of The Wonder in 2018. Photo: Courtesy of SOUL Church

SOUL Church on Mason Road, Norwich, will be putting on 14 shows of The Wonder across two weekends.

SOUL Church's production of The Wonder in 2018. Photo: Courtesy of SOUL ChurchSOUL Church's production of The Wonder in 2018. Photo: Courtesy of SOUL Church

It is the fifth year the church has put on its musical show, which includes popular film and storybook characters but focuses on the traditional Christmas story of Jesus.

Pastor Jon Norman, co-founder of SOUL Church, said: "This is the biggest event of the year for us.

"Unashamedly we are a church and promote the true wonder of Christmas and Jesus Christ coming to earth. It is bringing the traditional part of Christmas back.

"People are happy for their children to hear the Christmas story. Even if you don't believe the story, it is a great story. Who doesn't want to feel festive at Christmas?"

The show takes six months of planning and is made possible by 300 volunteers, who perform, get involved backstage or help the performance days run smoothly.

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Mr Norman, 41, who co-founded the church in 2014 with his wife Chantel, said The Wonder started out as a Christmas show for the church but has grown organically over time in terms of production and audience numbers.

In the first year 600 people watched it, which grew to 1,000 the following year and 5,000 last year.

He added: "The standard of the performance is high and run by volunteers, which is attractive to people. Some people also cannot afford £30, £40 or £50 to watch a Christmas show. People come from all over the county as well as from Suffolk and Essex."

It is the first time The Wonder is being performed across two weekends.

The 85-minute show includes people who attend SOUL Church, as well as non-church-goers, and features youngsters aged seven up to people in their 70s.

Popular characters starring in this year's production include Mary Poppins, Aladdin and the Lion King.

The show is performed on a first come, first served basis and no tickets are given out. People should arrive early.

Shows are taking place at 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm on December 7 and 14, and 10am, 1pm and 4pm on December 8 and 15.

For more information visit www.thewonder.org.uk

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