The year 2003 was a very important one for The Beacon Church
and Christian Centre - it was the year it was formed! Special
services were held in September to celebrate our coming together.
The last Methodist service was held at London Road on 24 August
2003, and the last services were held at St Columba and Tower
Hamlets on 31 August. These were occasions of mixed emotions
- sadness at the end of an era, but excitement at what is
Our first service together as The Beacon Church was a service
of Holy Communion, led by the Rev. John Lines, who was then
In the evening, we used the musical setting of Holy Communion,
Breaking Bread, for a service which was also attended by members
of the other Methodist Churches in the Dover and Deal Circuit.
Many of our meetings and activities were concerned with bringing
our three churches together, and on Sunday, 21 September we
held our first General Church Meeting to make some important
appointments and decisions about our future.
Flowers from our Harvest Festival went to those who are ill
or house-bound, and the gifts of fruit and vegetables brought
by members of our Junior Church were taken to those living at
the St. Martin's Emmaus community in Dover.
We held our Junior Church Prizegiving on Sunday 16 November
when our service was conducted by the Rev. Michael Walling.
The prizes were presented by Joy Philpott who has been involved
in youth work at the United Reformed Church, and now The Beacon
Church, for many years.
On Sunday, 30 November, we held our Toy Service when the children and young people from the Junior Church brought
toys, books and games they no longer needed so that they could
be sent to less fortunate children. This year, the gifts were
handed over to British Humanitarian Aid who took them to children
On each Sunday of Advent we lit candles on our Advent Ring in
church, leading up to the lighting of the central candle - representing
the birth of Jesus, the Light of the World - on Christmas Day
On Sunday 21 December, we held a Family Service in the morning
when members of our Junior Church took part. In the evening,
our church was packed for our Candlelight Carol Service which was a really good service, with some excellent singing.
It was the first time that the Beacon Singers had really taken
part in a service.
We held our Christmas Day service on Christmas
morning when we took time out from all the other celebrations
to remember the real reason for Christmas.
On Christmas Day and Boxing Day, our church hall was used to
provide meals and activities for homeless people in the area.
This was organised by Christians from many Dover churches.
Some church family news. Evelyn and Leslie Tutthill - two of
our longest-serving members at London Road - celebrated their
65th wedding anniversary and their 90th birthdays.
Other notable birthday celebrations included Margaret Haynes
(92), Evelyn Fuller (99), Sonny Mills (94), and Gwen Bates (96).
We remember some of our members and friends who died during
the year, including:
Doris Barker, a talented musician and a very
special mum, whoshared her gifts and talents around Dover and
London Road church for many years, especially her music. She
had been a piano teacher and an organist.
Alan Sugden, who was described as "a dynamo
for the Lord", and did so many things around Dover and
the churches, always using his musical gifts and talents. A
proud Yorkshire man, he was always ready to make suggestions
and to share his faith. In everything he did, Alan sought to
think of others before himself.
Vi Mills, who died soon after her 90th birthday,
her son-in-law Peter Fish, who was a Professor
at the University of Wales in Bangor, Olive Morris,
our oldest member, who was 99, Margaret McKenzie and Olive Hudson.