The Chinese Congregation began as a gathering of Christian and non-Christian Chinese in 1998, meeting monthly in a home in Taverham. The gathering grew and, in March 1999, under the leadership of Rev David Foo (General Secretary of the Chinese Methodist Mission, UK) needed larger premises and began to meet at the Taverham Village Hall, and was known as ‘Norwich Methodist Chinese Christian Fellowship’.
The Fellowship continued to grow and in January 2003, was established as the ‘Chinese Congregation Methodist Church Norwich’ – the first Chinese Church in Norfolk. Later that year, it started to meet at the Sprowston Methodist Church on Wroxham Road on two Sunday afternoons per month, with additional gatherings for Bible Study, Evangelical Meeting, Ladies Fellowship and UEA Chinese Student Fellowship.
Two Chinese members are co-opted as representatives to the local Methodist Church Council Meeting.
English Classes, for those attending the Church in need of improved English, were established in autumn 2003.
The Chinese Congregation dropped its fortnightly meeting pattern in May 2006, in favour of meeting each week – a strong sign of its continuing commitment and steady growth. The Congregation’s aim is to continue to serve all Chinese people in the area, whether Christian or not.
A Junior Church has been established with both Chinese and English helpers and a Cell has been planted at Beccles.
Since May 2006, the Chinese church meets every Sunday at 2pm and on the first Sunday of the month there is All Age Worship. The Chinese church also meet on the 1st and 3rd Mondays.
Members travel from outside Norwich and speak both Cantonese and Mandarin. English classes are run by the Liaison Officer (Margaret Hardingham) appointed by the church. The congregation is a vibrant mix of adults, students (UEA), teenagers and children… ready to offer a warm welcome (often with food)!
This growing congregation has the ministry of a ‘focal person’ working locally part-time, and has appointed Edmond Tsui as ‘Mission Worker’. Edmond was commissioned on Sunday 14 October 2007, and his ministry is greatly appreciated.
The local minister, Rev Nigel Fox, was privileged to join Rev & Mrs Foo and many others in Hong Kong, in the autumn of 2011, at the gracious invitation of the Hong Kong Conference. Following that visit, and further discussions in May 2012, we became better placed to press forward with plans to formally integrate this young, vibrant and growing congregation into the Norwich Circuit… and to embrace the changes that implied.
As a result of all this, on Sunday 31st August 2014, Edmond Tsui was formally welcomed as full-time Lay Pastor; and, the following day, the Chinese Congregation was formally integrated into the Norwich Circuit as the Chinese Church.
With this new beginning, and by God’s grace, a great future is about to unfold… with fresh opportunities for mission and ministry, but based at the Bowthorpe Road premises.
Please note that all the Chinese Church activities now take place at Bowthorpe Road Methodist Church, NR5 8AB.
Sunday services begin at 1.30pm.
For further information please contact Edmond Tsui (Chinese Lay Pastor) or see the website: chinese-norwich.com