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Norwich church to hold final service in January 

After 78 years of worship, first in a wooden church, then a Nissen hut, then a brick building, Heartsease Lane Methodist Church is set to hold its final service.

After securing land on the corner of Heartsease Lane and Orchard Close in 1944, Plumstead Road Methodist Church members transferred to Heartsease Lane in 1946, worshipping in a temporary Wooden Church. Then a Nissen hut was added in 1949 for Sunday School and youth work.  


Even after the new brick church was opened in 1954, these buildings were still in use for Sunday School, Youth Fellowship, Youth Club, Men’s Fellowship, Men’s Club with league table tennis teams, Women’s Own, Guides, Brownies, concerts, harvest suppers and many fundraising events.


The school hall and kitchen were added in 1961, with the Thorpe Room and Plumstead Room added in 1968. Because of the large Sunday School, senior members still met in the wooden hut until the Epworth Room was added in 1973.


“In 1968,” writes Moira Anderton, “Hearts Ease Lane Methodist Players (HELM Players) evolved from the people involved in performing Easter plays on Good Fridays, of which I have been an active member from the start.”


In the 65 years that Miora has been a member of Heartsease Lane, as well as the activities already mentioned, there has been a Young Wives Club, Meeting Point, Parent Teacher meetings, Friendship Club, Bowls Club, Badminton Club, Sunday Night Workshop for young people, Bible Studies, Alpha Courses, church weekends away at Ditchingham, trips to Easter People, coach trips to Thursford Songs of Praise, church pantomimes, Christmas Day for lonely people, flower arranging lessons, after school club, Sunday morning breakfasts for children followed by a modern approach to teaching the Gospel, and monthly church Sunday lunches. 


The yearly Holly Market was not only a fundraiser but also a time when the congregation shared fellowship with the local community. When there was no longer a church choir, music makers, singers and instrumentalists met together, often leading the singing in morning worship. Recordings they made still enhance weekly worship.


“Sadly,” writes Moira, “very few of these activities now take place, and because of the decline in numbers attending worship, through various reasons, we have had to make the very hard decision to close the church. Heartsease Lane has always been a very caring, welcoming fellowship and I have been very fortunate to be part of this lovely church family for so many years.”


The final service will take place at 2.30 pm on Sunday January 8, 2023. It will be led by the minister, Revd Sharon Willimott, the preacher being the Secretary of The Methodist Conference, Rev Dr Jonathan Hustler, himself a former member at Heartsease Lane.


Pictured above is Heartsease Methodist Church at Easter 2014.






Eldred Willey, 20/12/2022

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