Dereham church congregation takes to the streets

If you think church is dull and boring, think again – and just ask people at Dereham Baptist Church.

While the church's building in High Street is undergoing a �450,000 refurbishment, the congregation has spent the past seven weeks meeting at Northgate High School.

Now, for the next month, members will be doing four different things on Sunday mornings – from having a 'messy church'-style event to going on to the streets to help the local community.

Northgate High is unavailable for four weeks while the school stages its Grease – The Musical production, so the church is taking the opportunity to try something different.

Minister the Rev Chris Densham said: 'We've had a wonderful time at Northgate on a Sunday morning. The church has embraced the challenge and got on with things really enthusiastically. We made one or two changes to the way we do things, starting and finishing with tea/coffee and the added attractions of either doughnuts or fruit.

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'I think that has also helped the new folk who have come along to relax and feel part of it all. Inevitably, Northgate feels more spacious than our High Street buildings. In our current building our congregation either sits upstairs in the balcony or downstairs in the main body of the church. It has been interesting to all be on one level, and many have commented that they didn't realise how many people were part of Dereham Baptist Church.'

From this Sunday until Sunday March 18 there will be a traditional-style service at 9.30am in the church's back hall. There will also be a relaxed event in Toftwood Village Hall, with a rolling programme for young families.

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Activities will include crafts, games, singing, story time and refreshments from 10am to noon. Mr Densham said: 'People will be free to come along at a time that suits them and stay for as long as they like.'

Another location will be at Swanton Morley Village Hall, where the church will be hosting a cafe-style church from 10am for a 10.30am start.

It is entitled What Would I Ask God if I Could? and will allow people to explore questions together using an interactive multi-media format, meeting around tables with refreshments.

Also, some people from the church will be in and around the town serving local people in a variety of ways.

Work on the main church building is on schedule to be finished by May.

The project has involved the downstairs pews being removed and slope of the floor being levelled. The front steps at the entrance have been removed, with a level access being created for users with disabilities.

The available floorspace in the church will be increased, and the building is being redecorated.

For videos of work on the church and an insight in to the services at Northgate High School go to the church website

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