St Stephen’s is an open community. We aim to be open to one another and to everyone who enters this building. This is a place in which we intend anyone in the city of Norwich to find welcome, safety and freedom. Through our Sunday services, courses, prayer, fellowship groups, The Cafe, The Chapel and the individual support we offer, St Stephen’s Church is here to serve and provide a place in which to belong.
“My heart for the community is to grow in kindness for one another, achieve things together we couldn’t if we were on our own and to be a blessing to the city.”
Clare Melia works to build teams that enhance our community life, to encourage people to use their gifts to contribute to our community, to provide support to all external and internal groups that use the church building and to build relationships with those who come into The Cafe, particularly any who need support accessing services or housing.
Life in St Stephen’s
At the heart of our Church life is relationship with God and with one another. We meet together every Sunday to worship God together, to hear his word and to be with one another. We also meet in smaller units such as small groups to read the Bible and prayer triplets to share joys and concerns and to pray for one another.
We also like to eat together frequently at events like our monthly shared lunch and teas at The Chapel.
We are open through the week and The Cafe provides a place for many in the city to belong. We run a series of community groups in The Chapel such as a parents and toddlers group and a Film Club.
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace”.
St Stephen’s Church is able to help many people to address issues that are having a severe impact on their quality of life.
Clare meets with people on a one-to-one basis to provide support and advice on how to access basic needs such as housing and on overcoming addictions.
By God’s grace, we are seeing people liberated from addictions. We are also able to provide support with housing issues such as threat of eviction, rough-sleeping and rental arrears. We provide emergency support for vulnerable people, including funds for shelter and securing safe passage. Clare has a large body of contacts and can signpost individuals to relevant services and run courses such as Christians Against Poverty. We also help people seeking employment by running computer training courses and working in partnership with others who provide mentoring support.
“We have seen God using the connections we have to overcome situations that seemed utterly impossible”