Search

‘Extra special’ – Families flock to city drive-in church service

PUBLISHED: 19:09 20 July 2020 | UPDATED: 19:09 20 July 2020

Dozens of worshippers attended the drive-in church service off Heartsease Lane in Norwich on Sunday, July 19, Picture: Soul Church

Dozens of worshippers attended the drive-in church service off Heartsease Lane in Norwich on Sunday, July 19, Picture: Soul Church

Soul Church

Dozens of families gathered in a Norwich field at the weekend to attend a church service with a difference.

Soul Church held a drive-in service in Norwich on Sunday, July 19. Picture: Lauren De BoiseSoul Church held a drive-in service in Norwich on Sunday, July 19. Picture: Lauren De Boise

Norwich-based Soul Church hosted a drive-in service off Heartsease Lane in the city on Sunday, July 19.

Attendees were asked to register their family or bubble prior to the event, and then either stay in or stand by their cars during the service to ensure everyone maintained social distancing.

Pastor Jon Norman, who founded Soul Church with his wife Chantel in 2014, said he was delighted with how the event went.

“It was basically a drive-in church service, so everything we would normally do inside the four walls of a building we did out on the field.

Soul Church held a drive-in service in Norwich on Sunday, July 19. Picture: Lauren De BoiseSoul Church held a drive-in service in Norwich on Sunday, July 19. Picture: Lauren De Boise

“It was a fabulous event that gave people an opportunity to re-engage with the community and reconnect with the church.”

As well as giving people a live service to attend, Mr Norman felt the drive-in church gave people an opportunity to reconnect with others from whom they had been separated during lockdown.

“People saw familiar faces and just felt that connection again, and I think it gave them that sense of togetherness.

“I think Covid-19 has created a lot of isolation and separation, and a lot of those factors contribute to people’s mental wellbeing and I think it was a step forward for a lot of people.”

Soul Church held a drive-in service in Norwich on Sunday, July 19. Picture: Lauren De BoiseSoul Church held a drive-in service in Norwich on Sunday, July 19. Picture: Lauren De Boise

In addition to marking a return to church in person for some people, the event also served as a celebration for Soul Church, which was marking six years since its creation.

After the worship, there was a special rendition of happy birthday during which attendees joined in and honked their horns.

“It made it extra special. We had plans at the beginning of the year of what we were going to do and obviously those plans had to be laid aside, but the good news was we were able to get together and people were able to feel a sense of homecoming and a sense that we are coming out of [the pandemic] as opposed to heading in.

After the success of this event, Mr Norman said they are looking into hosting similar services in the future.

Soul Church held a drive-in service in Norwich on Sunday, July 19. Picture: Lauren De BoiseSoul Church held a drive-in service in Norwich on Sunday, July 19. Picture: Lauren De Boise

“There are costs involved in running these events and we’re talking to production companies, so in due course we’ll definitely make an announcement on how we take it forward from here, but it’s all looking very positive.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press