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God’s faithfulness in Saxlingham

March 2009 | by Tom Chapman

God’s faithfulness in Saxlingham

 

Saxlingham Nethergate Evangelical Church reached a significant milestone on Saturday 10 January, as a packed congregation witnessed the induction of Ian Masson as the church’s first pastor.

     It has been a long wait! Saxlingham Chapel is a church constructed from corrugated metal, originally intended as a temporary structure. Founded by Surrey Chapel, Norwich, it celebrated its 120th anniversary in June 2007. Conservative in style and theology, it is located down a narrow lane in an obscure village in rural Norfolk.

     Current trends indicate the outlook for such churches is bleak; and for a while it seemed Saxlingham’s days as a viable church were numbered. At the induction service, local sheep farmer and deacon David Moore recalled the church at its lowest ebb: ‘At one members’ meeting, when there were only six of us, I suggested that we might reduce the number of services. My wife said, no, we should continue. So I knew that must be the Lord’s will!’

     The decision to continue has been blessed by God. The church has developed good links with the village; and children’s and youth work are prospering. The baptistry has recently been used for the first time in a decade and regular congregations have risen to over 30, with the building full on special occasions. Last year the church opened a new extension.

     The appointment of Ian Masson as pastor represents the next step in a remarkable renewal of this little fellowship. Ian, formerly a director of National Schoolwear Centres, first came to the chapel with his wife Lynda and children 20 years ago, and soon realised this was where God wanted them to serve.

     The service was chaired by Rev. Roland Fidge from Axminster and the induction performed by Malcolm Laver, who also delivered the address from Joshua 1. He reminded both church and pastor to be strong and courageous, not terrified or discouraged, for God would be with them.

     More information from: Ian Masson, (01508) 499121.

Tom Chapman

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