Friends who took part in the April 2019 Norwich Study Weekend will recall a Saturday morning visit to the Old Meeting House Congregational Church that was built in 1643 in the middle of the Civil War. The pastor, Dr John Clements (in the full costume of a seventeenth century preacher), gave a talk on the origins of the church and the early history of the independent movement in the city.
The Old Meeting House in Norwich is one of the most historic “non-conformist’ church buildings left in Britain that is still in use for regular worship. Norwich was already a city with radical Christians in 1580 when Robert Browne, of ‘Brownist’ fame, came here, and soon after that it played host to John Robinson who went to lead the ‘Pilgrim’ congregation in Leiden. The region contributed many to the puritan migrations in the next few decades.
The Old Meeting House congregation was formed by William Bridge in 1642. Bridge himself was a returning member of the puritan groups who had fled to Holland. This congregation built the Old Meeting House itself in 1693 since when it has retained much of its original character.
However, like many city centre congregations, it has experienced serious challenges and now has difficulties in its use of the building. The small congregation needs some help in rebuilding itself and raising funds, perhaps one day to regain full control over the building itself. They need some simple support such as how to organise a crowdfunding campaign and or maybe some legal advice over the access to the building.
Can you help? It would enable them to retain a historic building as an active centre of Christian faith. If you are interested in any way, please contact Dr Clements by email to email@example.com
The original item was posted to The Pilgrims and Prophets Facebook page by Adrian Gray on 28 January 2022 https://www.facebook.com/PilgrimsAndProphets