Norwich Proclaimers celebrate new church

A former warehouse has been transformed into a vibrant church to house one of the city's fastest growing Christian congregations.

Until the weekend, the Proclaimers Church held services in the Ramada Jarvis hotel, but following a renovation of the former Fabric Warehouse, on Roundtree Way, in Sprowston, the new church known as The Space, can seat more than 500 people in its auditorium.

Senior minister Tom Rawls said: 'We have 300 to 400 people at every service; it was very challenging to find an auditorium we could use full time. This was big enough.'

The Proclaimers has been running 15 years and is part of London's Hillsong Church network.

Pastor Rawls said: 'We've seen people from across the demographics getting involved in church, from teenagers to young professionals, to people entering retirement. We needed more space to fit everyone in as we continue to see such phenomenal growth in the years ahead of us.'

He said the church worked hard to help people in difficult economic situations and youngsters with a range of problems.

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'We are really helping young people to find something that is worth living for,' he added.

Proclaimers, which describes itself as a dynamic 21st century church', was started by Bob Gordon in the early 1990s.

It experienced some difficulties after his sudden death in 1998, but was saved from closure when Tom Rawls and wife Denise were appointed as senior ministers.

A dedication service was held in The Space on Friday evening where Gary Clarke, from Hillsong Church spoke and performed during the event.

• For more information, go to Proclaimers Church holds two services each Sunday at The Space, Roundtree Way, Norwich.

Has your community group or church moved into a new building? Contact reporter Annabelle Dickson on 01603 772426 or e-mail