Methodist / United Reformed
The Beacon Church & Christian Centre, Dover
2006 at The Beacon Church and Christian Centre

We held our Covenant Service on Sunday, 8 January, conducted by the Rev. Roger North, and we were pleased to welcome the Rev. David Ridley, of St Mary's Parish Church, Dover, who preached at our morning service on 22 January as part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The first of our monthly coffee mornings took place on Saturday 11 March and these are now beinge held on the second Saturday of each month, and include cake and bric-a-brac stalls, raising money for the church building fund. There is also a Fairtrade stall.

We used the book "Time To Talk Of God" as the basis for our Lent Course this year.

On Mothers' Day, Sunday, 26 March, we held a special family service conducted by our Minister, the Rev. Bruce Allinson. The service included the distribution of flowers to all mothers in the church, and the dedication of new music stands for our Music Group which have been given in memory of one of our members, Hilda Welburn, who died in December. We also presented certificates to those who took part in the District Festival. We congratulate Heather MacDonald and Donald Beck who won their classes at the festival finals in Maidstone.

It was good to have so many people join us for our various services in Holy Week and at Easter. The Maundy Thursday Holy Communion, Good Friday meditation and Easter Saturday vigil were all inspiring and challenging times. And then we celebrated Communion early on Easter Sunday morning followed by our family service, again with Communion, which was very well attended. It was particularly good to welcome some "old" friends who were visiting Dover - Stuart Milbourne and his family, and Peter and Sue Relf and their friends. Flowers which decorated the church were sent out to some of our members and friends who are ill or housebound, with love from The Beacon.

Pentecost was a very special time for us. As well as celebrating the coming of the Holy SPirit, we also welcomed three new members into the life of the church. We were delighted that Elizabeth and Victoria Beck and Kristian Allinson were received into memebrship.

On Saturday 3 June we held a Beacon Summer Bunfeast at Upton Wood, Shepherdswell. It was a beautiful summer's afternoon, and we had a very enjoyable time.

One of our services in July was a very international event. We have been pleased to welcome three Iranians, Mohammed, Habib and Abedin, to our church while they have been staying in Dover. They asked if they could be baptised at our church, and this was arranged for Sunday 23 July. However, in the days leading up to the service, the authorities moved all three men away from Dover, one to Folkestone and two to Cardiff. Our Minister asked if they could return to be baptised, and this was arranged. So we were pleased to be able to share in this very special service with Mohammed, Habib and Abedin. Our prayers go with them as they apply to settle in this country. As part of the service, copies of the Bible in Farsi, their native tongue, were presented to them on behalf of the church by Joseph, who comes from Finland, and who has also be worshipping with us while staying in Dover during the past year.

We have been pleased to welcome Ellie Marie Gilbert, Ruby June Emslie, Cayce-Jo Barr and Mason and Kiel Sparks into our church family at their baptisms.

Our Harvest Festival, on Sunday 1 October, was well attended and well supported, the church having been colourfully decorated with flowers the previous day by a dedicated band of volunteers. Members of the Junior Church brought gifts of food for the harvest, and these were later taken to the St. Martin's Emmaus community in Dover. Adults brought gifts of money, and as a result £331- including £30 from the Women's Own - has been sent to the Jenga Project.

On Sunday, 19 November, we held our annual Toy Service, when our children and young people brought toys, games and books which they have finished with to be passed on to children who are less fortunate. This year they are going to children in Ukraine. This was also our Junior Church Prizegiving and Glenys Jeff presented books to our Junior Church members for attendance during the previous year.

On Saturday 9 December, we joined forces with NCH Action for Children for a special Christmas Fayre and we thank everyone for their support. We were also grateful for the support for the Carol Evening on 19 December in aid of NCH.

As always, our church was full on Christmas Eve for the Candlelight Carol Service. It was a wonderful occasion, and was a timely reminder of the real meaning of Christmas. We also shared in a family service on Christmas Morning, led by our Minister, the Rev. Bruce Allinson. Our church hall was the venue for the meals for homeless people on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Vera Coombs, John Bates, Jean Jones, Joyce Stacey and Suzie Powell passed away in 2006, as did two of our oldest members, Walter "Sonny" Mills who died on Tuesday, 4 July, aged 96, and Irene Sutton who died on 12 July aged 87. We remember their families in our prayers.


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