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Historic picture of former church members

Our History

Find out how the church began

The Christian Fellowship Norwich is an independent evangelical charismatic church which keeps links with the church in the Norwich via City Ministries. 

The Church moved to a former United Reformed Church property in Lakenham in 1987. At that time the building was more or less unusable and has since had large amounts of renovation work done over the years. The Church was led by our current Pastor emeritus, John Betts.

Since then we have enlarged our sphere of influence in the area, not least through the work of Community Action Norwich (est. 1999), a charity which was established for our social action work in the area.

Having moved into a deprived area, the Church Leaders felt a strong call to go out and work in the community and not wait for the community to come to them. Out of that came organisations such as C.A.N which is based in The New Hope Christian Centre. Doreen Betts is one of the founders of The Magdalene group, John Betts was involved in bringing Foodbank and Street Pastors into Norwich, both of which are now run independently. The Church has also been linked with an orphanage in Mozambique for a number of years.

After spending 4 years in Texas Duane, Clare and Beth their oldest returned to Norwich in 1999. In 2005 John and Doreen handed over church leadership to them but John still remains a very active part of the running of the church.


30 years after the church moved to Lakenham, our buildings have been adapted and enlarged as the needs of the work grew. We are now just about at full stretch given our programmes and the numbers of people involved. In 2013 we began another series of renovations which have come to an end, 4 years later, with the completion of the car park. These latest renovations were funded solely by God's providence. The money came in via anonymous donations, trusts and funds such as the Lottery bid.


As well as our own programmes we accommodate numerous other ministries and groups such as; Partners in the Service of Christ, Widows and Orphans Relief & Development Trust (WORD Trust), Apostolic Faith Ministries International, Community Action Norwich, and the World Wide Church of God. We have also had links with other local churches such as an exchange ministry with Rev Colin Napper of Gunton baptist church, Lowestoft. John Betts took them through leadership training course.

When we moved to Lakenham we had a few people who lived in the  area. Now 46% of the church folk live in the area. People have joined us via our Lunch Club for older people and other programmes. 


Numbers are coming to faith and are being baptised as Christian believers. We are a lively, active church, ministering to hundreds of people every week and impacting the community in which we are based.


Our people are committed to serving the Lord Jesus in all aspects of their lives, which shows in the high level of Christian service performed by them, both within the church itself, and in the wider Body of Christ in Norwich and beyond. We rejoice in the extent of our sphere of influence and give thanks to God for this ministry.    

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