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 at Christmas that year and as he got off the plane he heard Jesus speak to him and say “you’re home” although he didn’t want to believe it! On returning to California he was stopped at the airport by officials and his visa was prematurely stopped, confirming that God did indeed want him back in the UK. On returning to the UK he met Hannah and they married in 2004. After a number of specific confirmations and the approval of Vineyard UK they began to make plans to church plant.
The church was started in October 2005, planted out of Norwich Vineyard. 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, initially in a home and then in Zizzis restuarant. We ran the Apha course three times, ate breakfast and prayed together, threw lots of parties and did random acts of kindness in the city centre of Norwich.
In January 2007 we started to meet on Sunday mornings at The Fishergate Centre on Fishergate in Norwich. The church continued to grow, new small groups were started and an outward focus continued to be at the heart of Gateway. As we ran out of room our need for a new home was met when we moved into our current venue on Nelson Street in October 2009.
We long to see people encounter Jesus and mobilised to reach out to others in love and compassion. We do hope you enjoy reading more about how the church is walking this out on our website. We look forward to meeting you.
Craig & Hannah Deal