This was a difficult year for us at The Beacon, as we lost a number of good friends and long-serving members of our church.
Leslie Tutthill, who was 95, passed away on 5
January. He had been connected with our church virtually all his life, having become a member of the Sunday School when he was a young boy. He went on to serve the church in many ways, including as church steward, Sunday School Superintendent, Choir Master, founder and conductor of the former Men's Choir, Junior Club leader and vice-President of the Guild. He was the local representative of the National Children's Home (now Action for Children) and helped raise thousands of pounds for the charity by arranging concerts in Dover Town Hall by the Luton Girls Choir. When our churches were coming together to form a new church, it was Leslie who suggested the name The Beacon Church and Christian Centre, so his legacy will live on.
Sylvia Dolbear, who was 89, died in September. She had been
a member of the church for more than 60 years, and had been
a church steward, vice-President of both the Women's Own and
the Guild, and a class leader. She was always a great encourager
of the young people.
Brian Gammon, who was 66, died in August. He was one of our
former church stewards and circuit stewards, and had been
much involved in the life of our church, right from when he
was a teenager in the youth club.
We were also sorry to record the deaths of two more
members, Barbara Thompson and Peter Davis.
We remember all their families in ouyr prayers.
Christmas was another special time for us here at The Beacon,
with a number of different services, including a nativity
Despite the wintry weather, a good number of people attended
our Candlelight Carol Service.
We held all our usual special services and activities during the year.
Our Minister led a very interesting and thought-provoking
Lent Course, and our Easter celebrations included a Vigil on Easter Saturday,
and an early morning communion service on Easter Sunday followed
by an Easter breakfast. Our morning worship was well attended,
and also included communion.
Our Beacon Music Group provided the music for the Port Sunday
service at Dover Lifeboat Station in July.
The church had been beautifully decorated, as usual, for
our Harvest Festival celebrations. The children and young
people brought gifts of food, fruit and vegetable which were
later taken to the St. Marin's Emmaus community in Dover,
and the adult members of the church made financial donations
which went to the URC Commitment for Life charity.
Our thanks to everyone who brought toys and gifts on Sunday
15 November to be distributed by British Humanitarian Aid.
This was also our Junior Church Prizegiving, when the young
people received books or tokens for their attendance during
the past year. We were grateful to Simon Edwards, our Circuit
Lay Worker, for presenting the prizes.