Meadow Way Chapel to have final service before becoming part of Gateway Vineyard

Pictured outside the Meadow Way chapel in Hellesdon

Pictured outside the Meadow Way chapel in Hellesdon are, from the left, Richard Sadler, Thelma Robertson, Katie and Marc Lillystone - Credit: Gateway Vineyard

Norwich’s Meadow Way Chapel will be holding its last-ever service on Sunday April 24, after last year celebrating 50 years as a church which first began in a mission tent.  

It will then transition to become part of Gateway Vineyard Church, which is based in Norwich and Beccles. 

This comes after 18 months of detailed discussions between the leadership and boards of trustees at the two churches, which initially started when Gateway were looking for a location to use for some of its community activities and somewhere to film services during the lockdowns in 2020 and approached Meadow Way as one option.  

The Hellesdon chapel building near Meadow Way will become one of several places where people can attend regular Sunday services.  

The chapel will now be known as Gateway Vineyard at the Chapel. 

Gateway assistant pastor, Marc Lillystone, and his wife Katie, have been appointed as the new site pastors at the Chapel. 

Marc said: “Katie and I have a deep love and connection to the Meadow Way church and people. They have had a significant history in our lives and in the lives of both our families.  

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“There is an incredible legacy of the last 50 years in Meadow Way and we want to honour and respect that, but also look forward with expectation to what is to come as they join us to become a part of Gateway Vineyard.” 

Existing Meadow Way leaders Richard Sadler and Thelma Robertson will be stepping down from their roles. 

The enlarged church will continue to be under the leadership of Craig and Hannah Deal, who founded Gateway Vineyard church 15 years ago and are also Vineyard Churches area leaders for East Anglia.  

Meadow Way trustee, Andrew Southgate, who will join the Gateway trustee team for a year in an advisory role, said: “In one sense it’s sad that after nearly 51 years Meadow Way will be closing but the excitement of the future far outweighs this.” 

Gateway Vineyard’s lead pastors Craig and Hannah Deal said: “We are excited to launch Gateway Vineyard at the Chapel as we continue to build community, learning what it means to follow Jesus, love people and bring life to others in Norfolk and Waveney.”