Methodist / United Reformed
The Beacon Church & Christian Centre, Dover
2016 at The Beacon Church and Christian Centre

The year got off to a good start when we welcomed some "new" members to our church on Sunday, 7 February. Although they had been worshipping with us for some time, we officially welcomed them, either by confirmation or by transfer from other churches.

Our former church building was sold at auction on Monday 8 February for £135,000. During the previous few months we had disposed of many of the items of furniture, including the pulpit (which is becoming an auctioneer's rostrum) and the organ and some of the pipes (which will make an impressive surround for a new digital organ). The stained glass windows have been removed and put into storage.

Phase two of the redevelopment scheme included the demolition of the former choir room together with the removal of the steps leading to the flat and to the organ gallery. Deep excavations took place and piling had to be carried out so the new building work could go ahead. The extra work meant an increase in the cost of the scheme and we are very grateful for all the funding we have received, including the Methodist District who responded generously to our situation.

Now we have an impressive new entrance, reception area, link through to the church hall, with another room and shower facility on the first floor.

We had a really good celebration on Sunday 29 May to mark the official opening of Footprints Reception and the new London Road entrance to our church. The plaque was unveiled by our former Minister the Rev John Lines, and the preacher at the service was the Rev John Hellyer, chairman of the Methodist South East District. We were pleased to see so many people at this special occasion, including representatives from the Methodist and United Reformed churches, as well as from the town and district councils, members of other churches in the area and from the various community groups who meet in Footprints. Our thanks to everyone who took part.

During our service on Sunday 21 February we heard from Lynda Powell about the work of the Street Pastors in Dover.

After our Holy Communion Service on Maundy Thursday evening it was good to see so many children (and adults) for our Good Friday afternoon of activities as our Minister led us through the events of Good Friday. Thanks to all those who helped make the afternoon so memorable.

Our Easter celebrations concluded with the Easter Sunday morning service which included Holy Commmunion and was led by the Rev. Gordon Newton.

Our coffee morning in aid of Action for Children on Saturday 9 July raised more than £90 and a coffee morning for our church mini-bus on Saturday 14 May raised more than £255.

Our thanks, too, to all those who supported the two fund-raising events for the urgent cancer treatment in America for 16-year-old Kelly Turner. The coffee morning, in June, raised more than £750 and the coffee morning and lunch event in August topped the £1,000 mark. We keep Kelly and her family in our prayers.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our Harvest Festival on Sunday, 25 September, We had an All Age Worship service, led by the Rev Gordon Newton. People brought gifts of food, fruit and vegetables which, after the service, were taken to the Emmaus Community at Archcliffe Fort.

The Beacon Art Competition took favourite nursery rhymes and poems as its theme. Congratulations to all the prize winners and our thanks to Dover's Deputy Mayor, Cllr Chris Precious, who presented the prizes. Thanks, too, to the local businesses and organisations who provided sponsorship.

Sunday 20 November was quite a busy time at the Beacon.. The previous week we had brought our Love In A Box donations to our morning service - thanks to everyone who provided the boxes packed with lots of useful items. This week we donated goods for British Humanitarian Aid, and we welcomed a representative from the charity to tell us something of the work which the volunteers do.

The service also included the Junior Church prizegiving, with children receiving prizes for their attendance during the past year.

After the service we held our annual church meeting and followed by a bring-and-share lunch.

Our Carol Service Christmas Eve Communion and Christmas Day services were all very well attended.

We give thanks for the lives of Kath Hogg, Joy Philpott, Kittie Currie and Angela Gibbons, who passed away during the year and who had been connected with our church in various ways. We remember their families in our prayers.


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