DURHAM PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Saturday 26th January was an important day in the life of Durham Presbyterian Church. On that day, the chapel in Laburnam Avenue was full of members and friends of the church to witness the recognition of Brian Norton as minister of the church. Brian and his wife Brenda initiated the work in Durham almost fifteen years ago, and the occasion was a fitting recognition of their faithful service over these years. Different members of Presbytery took part in the service, with Ian Hamilton of Cambridge preaching the Word of God from 2 Corinthians 2:12 - 3:6.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHURCH
Durham Presbyterian Church began in August 1987, four months after Cambridge Presbyterian Church, with four committed households, making seven adults and five children. Like Cambridge, it began with a Sunday afternoon meeting, and also a midweek meeting, expanded from a long standing Westminster Confession study group.
Age Concern House was newly built in the centre of Durham, and the manager agreed to let us rent it on Sundays. The first of many of God's provisions.
Numbers of people have come and gone. If they had all been able to stay...! Three groups in particular helped to get the church established, bringing blessing and encouragement. Several Dutch friends faithfully attended between 1959 and early 1991. Almost immediately after they left, two families joined and through one of them an influx of students began.
Thirdly, Korean friends were important from the start. After the church was formally constituted in January 1992, three elders were elected, including two fine Korean ministers doing postgraduate work,
A significant development in 1996 was the addition of a missionary elder, Rev David Winch, who works among Turkish people, now in London after two years' teaching in seminaries in Turkey.
For a long time, although the congregation grew, there were few salaried members. In recent years that has changed. Other blessings have been constant and abundant: a sense of God being among us, and precious unity and fellowship.
In 1988 a small building not far from Age Concern House, was vacated by the Assemblies of God, Strangely, and frustratingly, the agents seemed to hold us off and sold it to a landscape architect. In 1998 the building was back on the market, refurbished and extended. In March 1999 Durham Presbyterian Church became the owners after a surprising series of gracious providences and a testing time of waiting on God.
January 2002: 27 communicant members; a building; a recognised minister. God is with us. To Him be the glory.
Brian and Brenda Norton