Methodist / United Reformed
The Beacon Church & Christian Centre, Dover
2008 at The Beacon Church and Christian Centre

On Sunday 10 February we held a very special celebratory faith lunch after the morning service to mark 50 years of loyal service by our caretaker, Jack Ash. We presented him with a certificate, and our Minister's wife, Lisa, made a special cake for the occasion. We were also able to wish Jack well for his 92nd birthday two days later.

We welcomed Simon Edwards for the first time to conduct our worship in February, and we were also pleased to welcome his wife Hannah to conduct our worship for the first time in August. We were delighted that Simon accepted the appointment of Lay Worker with Young Families and Children in the circuit and a commissioning service was held at River Methodist Church on Sunday 14 September.

Our oldest member, Dorothy Noel, celebrated her 100th birthday in March. Dorothy, who was born in Dover, was the widow of former Methodist Minister the Rev. Bert Noel. Their Ministry took them to various parts of the United Kingdom, eventually retiring back in East Kent where they were much involved in the life of churches in the area. Dorothy lived in a residential home near Dover, and she thoroughly enjoyed her 100th birthday celebrations. Sadly Dorothy passed away on Saturday 20 December.

The Procession of Witness took place through Dover on Good Friday and in the afternoon we gathered for a service of Meditative Readings and Prayer in our church. After an Easter Vigil on Saturday evening, beginning with supper and ending with Holy Communion, Easter Sunday began with a Sunrise Service at Dover Castle at 6 a.m. Our early Holy Communion service at The Beacon was followed by an Easter breakfast in the church hall. At our Family Service, which included Holy Communion,. we were pleased to welcome Pauline and Thomas Singh into the membership of The Beacon..

Our Holy Week services began on Palm Sunday with a family service, conducted by our Minister, the Rev. Bruce Allinson, during which Palm Crosses were distributed to all members of the congregation. On Maundy Thursday, we had a service of Holy Communion which included our Minister washing the feet of one of our members.

Our thanks to everyone who supported our Beacon Cream Tea afternoon on Saturday 21 June. We had a very enjoyable time and raised £175 for the Beacon Building Fund.

We were pleased to welcome the Rev. Samuel Cyuma to lead our worship on Sunday 29 June when his theme was Honesty and Hospitality. It wasan inspirational time of worship.

We have started a new venture at our church. Footprints @ The Beacon is a meeting place and drop-in centre which we have set up in former shops in London Road, Dover, next to our church. Footprints will be used for meetings, coffee mornings and other activities. Coffee mornings are held on the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Please pray for this new outreach project.

Two of our longest-serving church members celebrated a very special occasion on Tuesday 15 July - their 70th wedding anniversary. Evelyn and Leslie Tutthill met at our church, became members when they were in their early teens - more than 80 years ago - and were married in our church in 1938. Over the years they have been involved in many aspects of our church's life, particularly in the Sunday School. Now 94 and 95 respectively, Evelyn and Leslie are unable to attend Sunday services, but join with us by listening to a recording of each service the following week.

On Sunday 21 September we celebrated our Junior Church Anniversary with a special service, led by Simon Edwards. Many of our young people took part.

Our Harvest Festival service on Sunday 28 September was conducted by the Rev. Roger North and he gave us food for thought with his inspiring sermon. The adult members of our church brought gifts of money for a URC charity fund, and our young people brought gifts of food which were then taken to St Martin's Emmaus in Dover.Thanks to everyone who supported the Quiz Night on Saturday 27 September in aid of ootprints (our new outreach initiative).

Thanks to those who supported the Barn Dance on Saturday 1 November in aid of our Building Fund.

Presentations were made to three of our Junior Church and Sunday School leaders who have retired after many years' service. Doris Friend and Joy Philpott have helped to teach hundreds of young people over the years. And Leslie Tutthill, who has given more than 60 years' service, has been appointed Superintendent Emeritus.

On Sunday 16 November we held our Junior Church Prizegiving, when the youngsters received books in recognition of their attendance during the previous year. It was also our Toy Service when the children and young people bring toys, books and games they no longer need to send on to other less fortunate children in other parts of the world, via British Humanitarian Aid.

We had our First Star communion service on Christmas Eve and our family service on Christmas Day itself.

We were pleased to see so many people joining us for our Candlelight Carol Service on Sunday 21 December, and our thanks to all those who took part.

We have also been sorry to record the deaths of two more members, Barbara Thompson and Peter Davis.

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