As I have spoken to people who live and work locally about the Great Yarmouth area, I have heard some stark verbal images. These are images of hopelessness and desolation: “wilderness” “dark” “oppressed” are just a few of the adjectives I have heard used to describe the town.  In this environment it is hardly surprising that amongst young people one of the repeatedly identified problems is a lack of aspiration.

Because of Jesus we can look beyond the problems and imagine a better future. And together, with God and with each other we can work to make this impossible imagining a reality.

Sometimes it can feel like an impossible battle working in this environment. But I am reminded over and over again that with Jesus there is always hope. When we turn our eyes towards Jesus we are reminded that “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5). With Jesus we are reminded that “perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18).

Jesus is the light which overcomes the darkness and Jesus is the love which drives out fear. But the amazing thing is that He calls us to be light and love in the dark, fearful world too (Matthew 5:14, Luke 10:27). We don’t do this alone, we do it with the authority of the Father, the example of the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit.

This is the reason that we have chosen the new name “Imagine Norfolk Together” for our joint venture. Because of Jesus we can look beyond the problems and imagine a better future. And together, with God and with each other we can work to make this impossible imagining a reality.

This is a vision shared by the Diocese of Norwich and the Church Urban Fund who have worked together to set up "Imagine Norfolk Together." The Church Urban Fund has changed it's branding recently to reflect the light of Jesus in our work and communities, and the Diocese of Norwich has just launched a new mission strategy with the strapline "More than we can imagine..." It is great to be working together with both the Diocese and CUF towards making a reality of the vision for fullness of life for ourselves and our communities.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3: 20-21