Seekers Kneel at the Cross During the General’s Easter Visit to Norwich

The General with young friends Max (aged 8, left) and Kai (7) at Norwich Citadel (Photo: Michael Grimshaw)

A number of seekers knelt at the mercy seat and at the foot of a cross in Norwich Citadel, United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland, during a busy Easter weekend visit by General Linda Bond.

On Good Friday morning, the General commenced her visit with an interview for BBC Radio Norfolk Breakfast Time. She spoke of her call to preach the transforming message of Jesus, her ministry through officership and her election as international leader of The Salvation Army.

Corps music sections participated in the extremely well-attended morning meeting in Norwich Citadel, during which Corps Sergeant-Major Hazel Sommerville read ‘It’s Friday’.

In her Bible message, the General powerfully reminded the congregation that, while sins divide people, Christ – who died for them – can make them whole. As the songsters sang ‘Lamb Of Glory’, while assembled around the foot of a large cross, a number of seekers knelt among them and also at the mercy seat.

An ecumenical open-air service led by bandsman Matthew Peek attracted many people and a church group – Transforming Norwich – coordinated a three-hour journey through the city centre, with a cross leading the procession. During one of six stops en route, the General witnessed to the importance of Good Friday.

The General delivered a stirring address during the Ecumenical Celebration of Evening Prayer at Norwich Cathedral. She spoke of Christ’s uniqueness as incarnate and sovereign Lord, declaring: Salvation is not available to us in any other way and we should unashamedly witness to this fact. Later, a man carrying a bag of food approached two Salvationists. He had heard the General speak and felt moved to purchase food for the nightly soup-run and persuaded his girlfriend to do likewise.

On Saturday, following an afternoon open-air meeting and marching display at the city centre forum, The Salvation Army’s Household Troops Band presented an Easter celebration music festival in the corps building. The band played ‘Gospel Story’ as a prelude to a devotional period during which the General drew from personal experience to emphasise how the truth and power of the Easter story can set people free from sin.

On Easter Sunday morning the General commissioned senior musicians Thomas Carr, Mark Woodrow and Daniel Frost before giving a challenging message that drew a number of seekers to the mercy seat.

Shoppers visiting a world market were among listeners when the corps band led a march of witness and the General spoke of the new life and hope available to all through the power of Christ’s Resurrection.

The evening meeting included a testimony from Eloise Peek on what Easter means to her. The General’s message focussed on the fact that Christ’s Resurrection empowers his people to pass on his glory. Prayers were offered and a number of seekers knelt at the mercy seat to conclude an inspiring and memorable weekend.

Report by Brian Cushion

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