Friends will know by now that changes are afoot here in Norwich, where many conversations about the future over recent years, together with fresh circumstances, have borne fruit in the formation of the Julian of Norwich Partnership, a new charity.
With both religious and educational objectives, the charity brings together the Friends of Julian of Norwich, Norwich Cathedral, the Parish of Timberhill, the Diocese of Norwich, the Community of All Hallows and other interested parties to shape the life and witness of the site around St Julian’s Church and the Lady Julian’s Cell, which we’re calling the ‘Julian campus’. The charity was formally registered with the Charity Commission on St Andrew’s Day last year (charity number 1192577), and is managed by a body of trustees including representatives from each of the founding partners. The Friends’ representative is Howard Green.
The Chair of the Trustees is Angela Robson, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Norwich University of the Arts, who has lived in Norfolk since 2003 and brings significant strategic and financial acumen to the Partnership. She will be looking forward to meeting many Friends in due course when we are able to gather again.
At the time of writing, the Trustees are seeking a Clerk and a Treasurer (both volunteer positions) to help give the Partnership an outstanding start as the necessary systems and procedures are put in place. The day to day leadership of life at the campus is the responsibility of the Priest Director, who is also the Parish Priest.
The creation of the Partnership gives impetus to the regeneration and renewal of the campus. The Partnership will hold the lease for both All Hallows House and the Julian Centre, the Community of All Hallows remaining the landlord, and the church and churchyard will, of course, continue to be under the oversight of the Parish of Timberhill. But our emphasis is very much on partnership working, since we’re all conscious that we can achieve so much more together than would be possible for disparate groups which can sometimes dissipate energy and inadvertently cause a loss of focus. Conversation at every stage and real efforts in mutual understanding will be key to making all this work – but such partnership is a Gospel imperative for Christians, not an optional extra.
BY THE PRIEST DIRECTOR, FR RICHARD STANTON