THIS WAS NORWICH – REMEMBRANCE DAY | (See my Full 66 City Tour List by Clicking HERE)
THE CONTENTS OF MY HEAD AND HEART
SO IF ITS NOT HERE – DO CHECK BACK LATER -MEANWHILE :
Today in Britain at the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of 2011, the nation stopped to remember our war dead. Here are some interviews from old soldiers, including a Royal Marine who was at Normandy and the recent head of the British Army.
General Lord Dannatt – Former Head of the British Army
The Rt Rev. Graham Norvic | The Bishop of Norwich
I was up around 5:00am this morning and managed to get out the door and on the road by about 8:15am. En route, Carrie gave me a call to arrange to meet up in the city centre and kindly arranged for me to park my car in ‘The Chantry’ and lined up a few interviews for me.
Carrie is a gregarious and generous individual, with muscles a massive heart and probably one of the most unusual ministries you can would come across. She is an ‘under the radar’ connector, living by faith and functioning wherever God sends her. It is obvious that her generosity of spirit is respected by all.
Today was going to be an oestrogen packed day, which for a minister to men, is always going to be a challenge. Frankly, I find it very humbling to see all my sisters working so hard and so valiantly, when most men don’t. Good on yer girls!
So after chatting with Janet, it was off for some interviews at the Sally Bash.
Peter was a fascinating guy and raised an observation at the end of his interview which I have now heard a couple of times. Essentially it infers that the rise of the welfare state laid off thousands of volunteer Christian workers and removed the personal responsibility of individuals to care for their fellow man.
Carrie took me over to the Forum for about 11:00am and we bumped into a young woman in her 60’s who is prison Chaplain to men.
Sheila bought me coffee and sat down for a chat. Sheila was driving down the motorway and was continually seeing prison vans carrying people from court to court to prison. She thought to herself that these then became the hidden and forgotten people of our society and that it is amongst those people that Jesus would have probably gone and ministered. So, she gave up her job and went and did so.
Out of my conversation with Sheila, I spoke with her about her conversion and the circumstances from which it came. She quoted the general confession of the 1928 Book of common prayer call to communion. Here it is: |
ALMIGHTY God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, And are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may ever hereafter Serve and please thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of thy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“Robert” she said, “The Burden of my sins became intolerable to me”
And I tell you what, I have not heard such a confession from so many who have claimed to be converted today
Meanwhile, Carrie was buzzing around like a bumble bee, calling in at the BBC, calling in a few favours and going back to the car to collect my stuff, it was now time to go outside into the bitter cold to see if we might do some open air proclaiming. Carrie even brought her guitar.
We pitched up in front of St Peter’s in front of that great community edifice called the Forum.
It really was cold and miserable and the battery on my video was in need of charging. So, I nipped inside the church whilst Carrie sat outside and started singing. It was freezing but there she was, and then joined by Janet for a wee while, singing out to whoever was listening. And there wasn’t many. Folks were trying to find a warm place as quick as they could. It was obvious to me that this wasn’t going to work. However, a few young people had come over to see what was going on and as Carrie was singing away, I interviewed them real quick.
Alex is a boy and a nicer chap you could not find in Norwich. He hung out with us for a wee while and became my camera man at the next event we went to. He was brave enough to come and join us at the URC Church where we had lunch with about thirty folks. The United Reformed Church crew regularly served up the best of meals to whoever could not afford them. Soup, bread, cake, fruit, coffee and sweeties, all served at table. AMAZING. Alex was really impressed with such service and we were impressed with Alex. I shared the Gospel with him and I told him that I would be getting everyone to pray for him. So please do for Alex, a lovely young bloke.
After this, Carrie got her van and ferried us down to another church being used as a café for homeless people, and an evident hang out of people from the Metachurch, just loving Jesus and serving people. Quite remarkable really. So I got the chance to sit down and speak with a few folks and later interview with the camera lady; Carrie’s lovely helper.
It was shortly after this that I got a text from Keith Morris of the Network Norwich website (awesome website by the way) who had arranged for me to go to the opening of a New Extension of the YMCA in Norwich.
Carrie and Sophie had to go, so they dropped me back at my car, unpacked my stuff and prayed with me. Honestly, it had been a most unique and valuable day to be around Carrie and Sophie, Janet and Sheila, the women at All Saints and the URC all getting on and serving God where the rubber meets the road. Remarkable. I haven’t had time to tell you about Carrie’s detours today: collecting wages to give to former prisoners; telephoning assylum seekers; loaning out her van to other service organisations to help evicted people grab the last of their possessions before they get dumped onto the streets; her ‘Leg Up’ fund….No, and the truth is, there is a lot I have not told you. I asked Carrie if she was an adventurer? “No” she said “I’m just an adult with ADHD” And so may we all be.
I had an hour or so before the 5:30pm start at the YMCA and was flagging. I needed some carbs to keep me warm and so popped into Maccy D’s to top up on the same and pick up some emails and chat to Bridget. Did I tell you I was going on a diet on Thursday?
I arrived at the YMCA and managed to get an interview, not only with the communications officer, but also one of the residents who had been living there for two and half years.
Of course, it was also here I got to speak to General the Lord Dannatt and the Bishop of Norwich, a lovely guy, indeed when I apologised about not knowing the correct protocol in addressing him he just said “Oh call me Graham.” And I did.
I got back to my good friend Simon Ladd in Bury St Edmunds about 8:00pm. Beer was poured and Chinese was ordered. He and his wife and family have been such an overwhelming blessing to me. Thanks guys.
I got to my room around 9:45pm, lined up the videos for YouTube, switched off the light and mused on the day. I had been truly moved by Norwich. Christians from all strata’s of society, young men, Lords, Generals, Bishops, housewives, geezers…..all, according the Bishop, the Bible and Lee, damaged people, forgiven people, washing the feet of others. Amazing really. I get around folks like this and wonder if I’m truly saved.
At 11:20pm I got notification of a gift made to the tour. It was from Carrie and the email said….. “Great meeting you today; thanks for encouraging so many people . Be blessed! Be a Blessing! Carrie” Truly, it was all the other people who had been a blessing to me today.
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