A Brief History………

 

White Hart Street Baptist Chapel was built in 1790, and Cawston Road Brethren Chapel in 1891. It was in 1993 that these two churches joined

together to become one congregation called Emmanuel Church Aylsham.

 

The merger of the two churches was first explored in the late eighties by the leaders. Then in 1990 Andy Curtis became Pastor of Aylsham Baptist Church,. He was studying at Spurgeons College when he was asked to write out the vision God had given him regarding the church. This vision included the bringing together of Aylsham Baptist Church and Cawston Road Brethren Chapel.

 

He knew very little about Cawston Road at this time and had not even met with the senior Elder. However, he made contact with the Elders and then, once a month the two congregations would meet for a Communion Service alternately at Cawston Road and White Hart Street. It is fair to say that these times were a great encouragement to everyone and it became obvious that they were united in many ways. So joint meetings of the leadership evolved for fellowship and prayer. The possibility of coming together was talked about.

 

At one such meeting between the leadership of both congregations they specifically prayed for guidance. As they prayed the sense of unity was so strong that the senior Elder expressed this as they came out of prayer believing that discussions for coming together should go ahead. For the fellowship at Cawston Road, this was a direct answer to months of prayer relating to their future and work in the town.

 

Theologically there were no real problems to be sorted. After much prayerful discussion they agreed that the “churches”, Aylsham Baptist Church and Cawston Road Chapel would cease and a new church, Emmanuel Church, Aylsham be formed. Those who wished to become members would stand and say a Covenant Promise in a “Covenant” Service and sign the Covenant Book. This happened for the first time on February 14th 1993 when there was a “Wedding Celebration” between the two congregations at White Hart Street. Then followed a celebration lunch at Cawston Road and a Business Meeting to elect Elders and Deacons and the Pastor affirmed. This union enriched the people from both congregations and the result was a growth in spiritual

maturity and in numbers. The Hand of God is plainly seen in all of this and in His work at Emmanuel over the years.