Village church's remarkable growth told in new book

Stephen Mawditt was long-time leader of Fountain of Life at Ashill. Picture: Stephen Mawditt.

Stephen Mawditt was long-time leader of Fountain of Life at Ashill. Picture: Stephen Mawditt. - Credit: Stephen Mawditt

A new book tells the story of the growth of a Church of England missionary community in the heart of Norfolk.

Redigging the Wells shows how Fountain of Life at Ashill near Watton grew from humble beginnings, negotiating the unique challenges and opportunities of doing rural mission and building community. 

Author Stephen Mawditt was long-time leader of Fountain of Life,  which was established about 30 years ago.

Redigging The Wells tells the story of The Fountain Of Life at Ashill.

Redigging The Wells tells the story of The Fountain Of Life at Ashill. - Credit: Stephen Mawditt

Having begun life in a village community centre, it now has its own dedicated building and a worshipping community of more than 300 adults.

Mr Mawditt said: "This allows the church to facilitate a range of community initiatives and creative outreach projects, pioneering work with children, young people and families as well as the older generation."


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It also supports a number of missional communities that meet across Norfolk, in people’s homes, village community centres, schools, and even in the forest.

Mr Mawditt said the Fountain of Life is a resourcing church, with a strong centre that is able to support lay people in evangelism and discipleship, often at many miles’ distance.

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Those who want to engage in rural mission need unique support, "a family around them to equip and train them as well as provide ongoing support and encouragement," he said.

Sharing from many years’ experience, Mr Mawditt honestly relates the "successes" and the "failures", encouraging readers that it’s OK if we don’t always get things "right.".

‘This is the story of what God has done in the heart of rural Norfolk to bring transformation and hope,’ said Mr Mawditt.

"We are a group of very ordinary people who have simply wanted to see the kingdom of God come, lives changed by knowing the person of Jesus Christ and our communities enriched and infused by the Spirit of God.

"He has been faithful. It’s an imperfect story and an unfinished one but I stand amazed at the evidence of God’s grace among us."

Redigging the Wells by Stephen Mawditt (ISBN: 9781912726493) is published by Instant Apostle and is available  from bookshops and online retailers and costs £9.99.

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