Our Vision and Values
Trinity Methodist Church Lowestoft is a Christian Church, part of the Methodist Church of Great Britain.
The calling of the Methodist Church is to respond to the gospel of God’s love in Christ and to live out its discipleship in worship and mission. It does this through:
The Church exists to increase awareness of God’s presence and to celebrate God’s love
The Church exists to help people to grow and learn as Christians, through mutual support and care
The Church exists to be a good neighbour to people in need and to challenge injustice
The Church exists to make more followers of Jesus Christ
More details can be found at: http://www.methodist.org.uk/
What does this church say?
Trinity was erected in 1970 as a result of the hard work and dedication of the congregation that had been based in the old High Street Chapel. The unique design of the church was the inspiration of Wally Thomson, an architect who was also a member of this Church and a local preacher.
The designer’s thoughts.
When asked about the design of the building Mr Thomson replied, “I see the whole building as an expression of HOPE – hope for the future, hope for our young people, hope built on the faith of our people through these times of economic stress. This vision is still relevant today as we look at ways of expanding both our spiritual and community activities.
So many questions have been asked about the new Church that I have been asked to put down on paper some of my thoughts about it. What I think and see may not be the same as you do, but it may be a help if I give you a very personal background to the design.
A church should be designed to make people think, think about God, think about life, think about people; so at the very entrance of the church it is right that these things should meet together. In fact we find a steeple of modern conception in anodised aluminium, traditionally a pointer to God in his universe and at the same time by its modern shape suggesting the reaching out of man into space and reaching upwards for God.
The three sides of the steeple speak to us of the Trinity and they culminate in the cross, the ultimate in love, making us aware as we approach this house that here is God in all his wonder, in all his glory and in all his love. The steeple of the Trinity is supported on three columns, one visible and the others hidden in a wall that is symbolic of sin and the Spirit. The wall is a modern sculpture depicting the mystery of the Holy Spirit at work in the world. The deep crevasses and cavities scar the purity of the wall just as man has scarred his environment and slashed at the perfection of God’s plan for his people; just as sin mars our lives. Holes pierce the wall letting through the light, holes of different shapes, forms and situations, with no apparent pattern to them. So the Holy Spirit works in the world, giving us glimpses of the light of God, glimpses of his presence. There is no pattern of time or place where the Holy Spirit may bring to us the light of understanding.
The roof over the entrance porch is sloping towards the door, a protection for those who would enter the church, who would enter God’s presence. It is supported by three crosses, a Calvary, reminding us that the love of Christ who died for us, protects us and is our only way into God’s presence. The ‘wall of sin’ partially obscures the Calvary from those who walk past: So it does in real life, but the ‘light holes’ in the wall will attract the eye just as the Holy Spirit attracts us to God.
A meeting place of God and life! As we approach the door we look through a glazed screen and see the church lounge with its carpet and comfy chairs and coffee tables and flowers – the everyday things of life, reminding us of our homes and the fact that Christ is a part of the everyday life, for he IS life. A meeting place of God and people, life, and every time one of us, man, women or child enters his house the meeting is complete.
So we enter God’s house, the sign of the fish over the door reminding us of the early Christians, telling us that God’s people meet here. At the same time it also reminds us who live in this seaside town of the hard life of those who ‘go down to the sea in ships’ (just as his first disciples did). To enter the church we turn our back on the lounge and on the comfortable things of life (stop thinking about that lunch in the oven or what’s on the telly!) and turn our thoughts to God as we enter the sanctuary. Here we take our seats, together, for the sweep of the seats, their very lay-out, gathers the congregation together, together round his table, with that rising stone aisle as the enfolding arm of Calvary reaching out to encircle us all.
Here, I hope, we shall feel secure and safe. Here I know, Jesus will keep his promise to be present and as we look towards the Cross we shall remember his love for us and I hope accept his love into our hearts.
Where should the pulpit be? Where is there a better place for the preaching of the Word of God, the Gospel of love, than at the foot of the cross?
Why a round communion table? How better can we express the truth that we are all equal in God’s eyes? No one can have an exalted position at a round table. No one can be nearer the centre than his neighbour. Surely here is a message for a race-torn world. Behind the communion table, the pulpit and the Cross is a large white wall dominating our vision, surrounding and encompassing everything, though we probably take it for granted. This is the ‘wall of love’, for what else surrounds and enfolds and encompasses everything, all things, all people, but love and GOD IS LOVE. Very simply, flowing out of this ‘wall of love’ is the font, for is not every life a gift of love, a gift from God? The font is simple. Simple because who can compete with the beauty of a child and the wonder of birth? The water will be held in a shell. Above the font, hidden from the congregation, is a blood red window lighting the font and representing the pain of child-birth. All we shall see is a haze of red light diffused on to the pure white ‘wall of love’, a diffused light to remind us how soon the pain of birth is forgotten as it is soothed by love.
But that light will not spread far along the wall for the light of God’s love for us is even greater than that between mother and child. So the Church is dominated by this large white encircling ‘ wall of love’. So our thought is dominated by love, by God. Is this not how it should be in his house? But one last thing- The wall is pierced by windows, twelve in number. These ‘windows of salvation’ remind us of the first disciples; of the disciples of every age who lived and died for their Lord and that we also are his disciples, in this age. As these windows light up the ‘ wall of love’, giving it colour, life and sparkle, they speak to us of the joy of knowing Christ, a joy we must share and communicate. They light up the way to the cross which points the way to God who is love.
My greatest hope is not that people who come and see this church will ask, ‘Who designed it? ‘, but that all will know that God is HERE and that he is present in the hearts of his people. When they read the inscription on the foundation stone ‘built to the glory of God’, may they say, ‘ Yes, indeed, it lS to the glory of God ‘. ”
History of events
Site bought 1962
Tonning Street Methodist Church sold 1968
High Street Methodist Church sold and school rooms etc, vacated May 1969 (church activities were continued by courtesy of the purchaser, Messrs, J . Hughes (Lowestoft) Ltd, in the old church, while Junior Church was held in rented rooms till September 1970)
Dedication of the site of Trinity Church 27 December 1969
Foundation stone laid 11 April 1970
Church opened 5 September 1970
Total cost of project approx. £53,000