|Good News for Norwich||Christmas 2004|
|By Kevin Gotts
Sixties pop star John Gaughan saw his life rescued from acute alcoholism and a failed suicide bid when he let God into his life, a Norwich audience was told recently.
Sixties pop star John Gaughan of Herman's Hermits
John was rubbing shoulders with the most successful writers and publishers of the day. On the face of it he had everything, but there was one problem, emptiness inside that was increasingly being satisfied by alcohol.
Eventually John's dependence on alcohol took over and within a few years he was a man broken in body, soul and spirit.
"I know what it is to be at the top and everyone wants to know you, and I know what it is to be at the bottom in the gutter as an alcoholic and no-one wants to know you," said John.
He reached a point of total desperation and tried unsuccessfully to end his life by throwing himself from an attic window.
During this time of despair many people called to see John, but the only person he could remember was a man from a local church who spoke to him about Jesus.
A week after one of these visits, John accepted Jesus
as his Lord and so began the miraculous rebuilding of his life. Broken bones were literally healed and he was completely set free from his acute alcoholism.
For the last eight years or so, John's music and song writing career has taken on a new lease of life. Not only does he sing previous popular hits, but he has a new repertoire of catchy songs which reflect where he is today.
"These new songs were given to me by God and my heart's desire is to touch people's lives through my story and song;" said John. "To bridge the gap between the world and the church and to draw people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour."
John was in Norwich during early November when, as part of his busy touring schedule, he accepted an invitation from Norwich Full Gospel Businessmen's Group to speak and perform at a dinner at the Quality Hotel in Bowthorpe.
|By Keith Morris
A Norfolk police chief has revealed his latest weapon to fight crime and tackle drug abuse - the power of prayer.
Assistant Chief Constable Simon Taylor said he believed that divine intervention can actually reduce crime, heal relationships and help bring broken communities back together.
As president of the Christian Police Association, Mr Taylor revealed his strong belief in the power of prayer in a promotional video for the Norwich Prayer in the Park event when around 1100 Christians from churches all over Norwich and Norfolk came together to pray for the city and county in late September.
"The drug scene and other crimes get reduced when people pray and relationships get healed when people pray to God, as father of all mankind, because he desires cohesion in our communities," said Mr Taylor.
"What a time for Christians to be praying that everyone, man or woman, whatever their race, may be safe in our county. I personally welcome any intervention that socially-minded people are able to make in an effort to keep our communities safe and as crime free as possible," he added.
Police chief Simon Taylor.
|The Prayer in the Park event called on Christians to pray together "as society continues on a spiral of moral decline, with teenage pregnancy on the increase, drug and alcohol a culture in our schools and the relevance of the family slipping further into insignificance". It is time, say the organisers, that the Church "stood up and took its rightful place as a key influencer in society".
Organiser Trevor Pimlott said he wanted the event to be:
"an historical turning point for the spiritual welfare of our city and churches." He added: "We are excited about the impact this will have on our city."
The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, opened the event.
The next city-wide prayer event is on June 18 in Chapelfield Park.
|Spooks star David Oyelowo.||
Star of the current BBC1 TV drama Spooks, David Oyelowo, says that life as an actor can be immensely rewarding one minute and very depressing the next.
Christian actor David, aged 28, plays Danny in the drama set in the supposed world of MI5.
"An actor's life can be a depressing one, for the goal-posts are always moving," said David, the son of a Nigerian prince. "Today you're flavour of the month, tomorrow the critics hate you; today you're in work, tomorrow you don't know where the rent's coming from.
|"The painful fact is that this often has nothing to do with your ability. If you are able to ply your trade, then acting can be the most rewarding job in the world. Of course rejection is an inextricable part of the job, but that's not a lesson you learn in drama school," said David.||"That's why I think it's vital to have something outside your acting to keep you rooted in the real world, and help you fill the vacuum. If you have nothing else, it can be unhealthy. For me, being a Christian has been invaluable: it simply means acting isn't the centre of my life."|
|Yes, Christmas is a time for presents, tinsel and turkey. But if that was the full extent of the celebrations then the festival would have ceased long ago.
Why are people still celebrating the birth of a baby who was born over 2000 years ago in the Middle East?
Who is Jesus? Why do so many people get excited about
|Him and why did He have to die? If you would like the answers to these questions then, without any strings attached, send a SAE (at least 5" x 8") to The Editor, Good News for Norwich, 48 St Giles Street, Norwich NR2 lLP and receive a free booklet by Nicky Gumbel entitled Why Christmas?|