‘Extra special’ – Families flock to city drive-in church service
PUBLISHED: 19:09 20 July 2020 | UPDATED: 19:09 20 July 2020
Dozens of families gathered in a Norwich field at the weekend to attend a church service with a difference.
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.
“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.”
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.
“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.”
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