Whilst working at the Anaheim Vineyard in 1999 Craig felt Jesus talking to him about returning to the UK and church planting in Norwich. He returned to visit his parents that year and as he got off the plane heard Jesus speak to him saying, “You’re home.” On returning to California he was stopped at the airport by officials and his visa was prematurely stopped, confirming that God wanted him back in the UK. On returning to the UK he met Hannah who had been in the UK pursuing her call to church planting. They married in 2004 and after a number of specific confirmations and the approval of Vineyard UK they began to make plans to church plant.
The church started in October 2005 and our first event involved Mexican food, live music and an invitation to come and hear why we were starting a church. The name ‘Gateway Vineyard’ was inspired by our desire for the church to be a place where anyone could come and meet with God. 9 of us met together in a home as we ate breakfast and prayed together, ran Alpha courses, threw lots of parties and did random acts of kindness in Norwich.
In January 2007 we started to meet on Sunday mornings. The church continued to grow, new small groups were started and an outward focus continued to be at the heart of the church. As we grew we started meeting in a venue on Nelson Street in October 2009, which served us well for 5 years. As we continued to grow we realised the need to move again, so in May 2015 we moved into our current venue at Norwich High School for Girls on Newmarket Road.
We long to see people encounter Jesus and mobilised to reach out to others in love and compassion. We hope you enjoy reading more about how the church is walking this out on our website and we look forward to meeting you.
Craig & Hannah Deal