News Release

Norwich MP celebrates 50th anniversary of Norwich Chapel

Members of the Norwich congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrated the 50th anniversary of the building of the chapel with guests of honour, Rt Hon Simon Wright, MP and the Mayor, councillor Judith Lubbock.

As part of the celebration members and guests watched a video which depicted the pivotal moments of the construction of the chapel, followed by a civic reception for local dignitaries, including the Sheriff of Norwich, William Armstrong, his wife Monica, Simon Wright MP for Norwich South, Councillor Judith Lubbock (Mayor), and Caroline Ackroyd (Local Councillor).

The first Norwich members, a branch of 159 people, used to meet at St. Paul’s chapel in 1848, then, after renting several halls, in 1925 bought the Park Lane chapel from another congregation.

In 1962 members were told that if they wanted their own chapel they needed to contribute with finances and labour. They liked the idea and for the next three years they traveled on foot and by bus to reach the meadow that would later host their meeting house.

Elder Kenneth Johnson (emeritus) of the Seventy, speaking during the commemorative meeting, fondly recounted when members realised that they were to build not only a meetinghouse but also a large parking area, they found it a bit far-fetched, as only two members owned a car then.

Even so, every member did his part: children swept floors and picked rocks, women worked cleaning bricks, baking and selling cakes at a market stall to raise funds, and spirits were kept high by singing, scripture study, impromptu musical shows and proselyting - whatever the weather.

After three years of hard work, and while meeting for regular church meetings two or three times a week in the old chapel, the new Norwich building was dedicated by Hugh B. Brown, who had served in Norwich in his younger years.

After fifty years, the Norwich chapel stands as a poignant reminder of the sacrifice of those faithful pioneers who have passed on a heritage of faith and hard work to future generations.

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