Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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5th December 2021

December 6, 2021

Beacon Bulletin

Our Mission To combat loneliness and isolation through Physical, Emotional and Spiritual wellbeing  
This week at the Beacon
5th December –Morning Worship. 11am James Hamilton – Communion
5th December – Christmas Messy Church 2pm
5th December – Cafe Church 6pm
7th December – Elders’ meeting 4pm Tuesday
7th December – Coffee Morning 10am to 12pm in the concourse
10th December 6.00pm – Youth group
Future worship at the Beacon
12th December – Morning Worship. 11am Terry Thompson
12th December – Christmas Nativity 2pm
19th December – Candlelight Carol Service 6.30pm
24th December – Midnight Communion 11.30pm Christmas Eve
11th January 2022 – Church Life meeting at 6.30pm (prayer) and 7pm (business)
                                        Christmas Cracker!!   Another successful Christmas Cracker this year. Thank you to everyone who came to help, cooked, donated or just came to say hello. We raised £750 on the day. Which is amazing considering the snow and ice that came that morning. A special thanks to Louise for all the organisation and the wonderful Christmas Crafts that kept the children happy. To Darron for the lovely food that was served on the day. Very popular! Thank you to Robert, who works hard in the background every year getting the grotto ready for Santa and decorating the concourse. Finally thank you to Santa for taking time from is his busy schedule to come and listen to the children’s Christmas wishes. A lovely start to the Festive season.
Carol Singing Claire Turner is waiting for the Social Club to get back to her with a beer and Carols night. If anyone is free to come and sing carols at Jacks on Sunday 19th December it would be lovely to see you there. There are 2 slots 11.45 – 12.15 and 12.30 – 1pm.
New Road Nativity For anyone who wants to come and dress up, sing carols and eat mince pies, this years New Road Nativity will take place from 10.30am on Saturday 18th December.  
                                        Church Christmas Card It has been agreed that we should again this year, given the opportunity for members and friends to send Christmas Greetings to each other by signing one large Christmas Card in the Church rather than sending individual cards to each other and to donate, what would have been the cost to the designated charity .   This year it has been decided to support Acorns Children’s Hospital and their special poster stroke card will be available at the rear of the church from the beginning of December for signing. friends are invited to place gifts in the box provided or in the jars of grace for the month. The total gifts will then be forwarded to Acorns Children’s Hospital to continue their vital and very special work. Thank you
                                        Weekly Offering Weekly Offering Envelopes Weekly gift envelopes are now available for 2022. We do need new additional subscribers by this means for the new year as this is the only form of giving that gives the church a guaranteed a regular income, apart from bank standing orders. If you feel able to support the church in this regular and specific way you will receive a pack of 52 envelopes, each given a confidential number and a week by week date. You are then asked to put your agreed weekly gift in the envelope each week ready for the collection plate. This means that if you are not able to be in church on any Sunday your completed envelopes can be brought in on your next visit thus maintaining your promised regular support. Do you pay income Tax? An added potential bonus for the church is that any of your gifts to the work of the church not only your weekly offering but any other donations during the year can be “Gift Aided” What is Gift Aid? Gift Aid is a system that enables the church to currently claim an additional 25 pence from the government for every pound donated to them from a UK taxpayer. If you pay income tax, then please consider the possibility. Gift Aid will cost you nothing! The church will get an additional 25% from your gift. So, you give £1 and the church gets £1.25! That can’t be bad! Standing orders Several members already contribute on a regular basis by a monthly standing order through their bank rather than filling an envelope each week. This could be a method you prefer and again it ensures the Church of a guaranteed regular income and this too can be “Gift Aided “ So please give this your prayerful consideration and if you would like a supply of envelopes for 2022 or details of Gift Aid or payment by banker’s order please see Jim Richardson and he will be more than pleased to help confidentially.  
Church Youth Group Every Friday 6pm – 8 The Youth club has now been running for a while now and is proving very popular with the youngsters. It is run by Louise in partnership with the YMCA. The club is for 10 – 14-year olds. Cost is just a £1. There is no need to book just turn up on a Friday night. So, if your child/grandchild is looking to chill out on a Friday night, then get them to come along. Future dates – 3rd 10th and 17th December open as normal 24th and 31st Closed
Tuesday Coffee Morning – every Tuesday 10 to 12. Have you been yet?   This is a real opportunity to support each other and members of the public who are looking to get out and meet people. I would really like to publicise the coffee morning more widely, because it gives us a real opportunity to minister to the lonely and isolated and reconnect as a fellowship too. If you have not joined us on Tuesdays please come and do so, we would love to see you there.   Running alongside the Coffee morning we are pleased to be able to open the church up for silent prayer and reflection. We would encourage you to come along and sit in this splendid building. Our future hope will be to open the church on a Thursday too.  
Christmas Nativity This year Louise and Messy church will be holding their annual Nativity play on Sunday 12th December. If you have a budding actor or actress who would like to take part please contact Louise at outreachbeacon@gmail.com 
Bible Study For some time now James and a small group of us have been attending bible study on a Thursday at 7.30pm. We normally meet at Darron’s house however we also have the facility to join online. Over the past few weeks, we have been looking at the lives of the disciples and their relationship with Jesus. The group have now broken up for Christmas and will start again on the 6th of January 2022 If you would like to join us them, please speak to either James, Darron or Caz.
Jars of Grace Jars of Grace for November will go to support Primrose in conjunction with the Lights of Love.
Christmas Worship Just a reminder that a warm invitation is extended to all members of the Beacon to join Emmanuel for morning worship on Christmas Day at 10.15, where James will be taking the service. There will be no service at the Beacon. An invitation has been extended to Emmanuel Church members to join us for Midnight Holy Communion at the Beacon on Christmas Eve, where James will again be leading worship. There will be no morning worship at the Beacon on Sunday 26th December.   If you would like a lift to Redditch for the Christmas Day service, please contact Terry Thompson. We plan to ensure that everyone who wants to go to the service in Emmanuel will be able to do so.
Prayer Requests. If you have any requests for prayers to be included in Sunday worship, please contact Caz or James. Prayer requests won’t be included in this bulletin unless you specifically request it.
 If you have any news you wish to share, please contact Caz at cazburnessbeacon@gmail.com, or by phone at 07958 206529  
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Sunday 28th November 2021

December 6, 2021

Beacon Bulletin

Our Mission To combat loneliness and isolation through Physical, Emotional and Spiritual wellbeing  
This week at the Beacon
28th November, Morning Worship. 11 am Revd. Ash Barker, 4 pm Lights of Love service, led by James Hamilton and Revd. Claire Turner  
Tuesday 30th November Coffee Morning 10 until 12  in the concourse
Friday 3rd December 6.00pm Youth group
Future worship at the Beacon
5th December Morning Worship. 11am James Hamilton – Communion
5th December, Christmas Messy Church 2pm
7th December, Elders meeting 4pm 12th December, Christmas Nativity 11am
19th December, Morning Worship 11am
19th December, Candlelight Carols 6.30pm
24th December, Midnight Communion 11.30pm Christmas Eve
11th January 2022. Church Life meeting at 6.30pm (prayer) and 7pm (business)
                                        Christmas Cracker!!   Another successful Christmas Cracker this year. Thank you to everyone who came and helped, cooked, donated or just came and joined in the fun. A special thanks to Louise for all the organisation and the wonderful Christmas Crafts that kept the children happy. To Darron for the lovely food that was served on the day. Very popular! Thank you to Robert, who works hard in the background every year getting the grotto ready for Santa and decorating the concourse. Finally thank you to Santa for taking time from is his busy schedule to come and listen to the children’s Christmas wishes. A lovely start to the Festive season.
Church Christmas Card
It has been agreed that we should again this year, give the opportunity for members and friends to send Christmas Greetings to each other by signing one large Christmas Card in the Church rather than sending individual cards to each other and to donate, what would have been the cost to the designated charity .   This year it has been decided to support Acorns Children’s Hospital and their special poster ‘stroke card’ will be available at the rear of the church from the beginning of December for signing. friends are invited to place gifts in the box provided or in the jars of grace for the month. The total gifts will then be forwarded to Acorns Children’s Hospital to continue their vital and very special work. Thank you
Weekly Offering Weekly Offering Envelopes
Weekly gift envelopes are now available for 2022. We do need new additional subscribers by this means for the new year as this is the only form of giving that gives the church a guaranteed a regular income, apart from bank standing orders. If you feel able to support the church in this regular and specific way you will receive a pack of 52 envelopes, each given a confidential number and a week by week date. You are then asked to put your agreed weekly gift in the envelope each week ready for the collection plate. This means that if you are not able to be in church on any Sunday your completed envelopes can be brought in on your next visit thus maintaining your promised regular support. Do you pay income Tax? An added potential bonus for the church is that any of your gifts to the work of the church not only your weekly offering but any other donations during the year can be “Gift Aided” What is Gift Aid? Gift Aid is a system that enables the church to currently claim an additional 25 pence from the government for every pound donated to them from a UK taxpayer. If you pay income tax, then please consider the possibility. Gift Aid will cost you nothing! The church will get an additional 25% from your gift. So, you give £1 and the church gets £1.25! That can’t be bad! Standing orders Several members already contribute on a regular basis by a monthly standing order through their bank rather than filling an envelope each week. This could be a method you prefer and again it ensures the Church of a guaranteed regular income and this too can be “Gift Aided “ So please give this your prayerful consideration and if you would like a supply of envelopes for 2022 or details of Gift Aid or payment by banker’s order please see Jim Richardson and he will be more than pleased to help confidentially.  
In the moment exploring Mindfulness in a Christian context  Saturday, 4th December 2021, 10 am – 11.30    
An invitation to those who have some experience of Mindfulness  and those who have none.  This session in preparation for Advent and Christmas -you are welcome whether you attended previous sessions.    This will help you with ideas and activities to pursue afterwards,  to help you enjoy a mindful Advent and Christmas. You will need to book in advance so that the zoom link and other information can be sent to you before hand  There will be no cost, but you may like to consider an extra donation to your local church or one of the Christmas charities. For more information or book a place, please contact Jan Scott    jan.scott@live.co.uk using reference ITMonline 041221 by 1st December 2021,12 noon. If you are not familiar with Zoom or are not sure how to use it then please contact Darron Burness on 07973503236 who can help you set it up.  
Church Youth Group
Every Friday 6pm – 8pm The Youth club has now been running for a while now and is proving very popular with the youngsters. It is run by Louise in partnership with the YMCA. The club is for 10 – 14-year-olds. Cost is just a £1. There is no need to book just turn up on a Friday night. So, if your child/grandchild is looking to chill out on a Friday night, then get them to come along. Future dates – 3rd 10th and 17th December open as normal 24th and 31st Closed
Tuesday Coffee Morning – every Tuesday 10 to 12.
Have you been yet?   This is a real opportunity to support each other and members of the public who are looking to get out and meet people. I would really like to publicise the coffee morning more widely, because it gives us a real opportunity to minister to the lonely and isolated and reconnect as a fellowship too. If you have not joined us on Tuesdays please come and do so, we would love to see you there.   Running alongside the Coffee morning we are pleased to be able to open the church up for silent prayer and reflection. We would encourage you to come along and sit in this splendid building. Our future hope will be to open the church on a Thursday too.  
Christmas Nativity
This year Louise and Messy church will be holding their annual Nativity play on Sunday 12th December. If you have a budding actor or actress who would like to take part please contact Louise at outreachbeacon@gmail.com  This service should also be streamed on our YouTube Channel
Bible Study
For some time now James and a small group of us have been attending bible study on a Thursday at 7.30pm. We normally meet at Darron’s house however we also have the facility to join online. In the next few weeks, we will be looking at the lives of the disciples and their relationship with Jesus. If you would like to join us them please speak to either James, Darron or Caz.
Jars of Grace
Jars of Grace for November will go to support Primrose in conjunction with the Lights of Love.
Christmas Worship
Just a reminder that a warm invitation is extended to all members of the Beacon to join Emmanuel for morning worship on Christmas Day at 10.15, where James will be taking the service. There will be no service at the Beacon. An invitation has been extended to Emmanuel Church members to join us for Midnight Holy Communion at the Beacon on Christmas Eve, where James will again be leading worship. There will be no morning worship at the Beacon on Sunday 26th December.   If you would like a lift to Redditch for the Christmas Day service, please contact Terry Thompson. We plan to ensure that everyone who wants to go to the service in Emmanuel will be able to do so.
Prayer Requests. If you have any requests for prayers to be included in Sunday worship, please contact Caz or James. Prayer requests won’t be included in this bulletin unless you specifically request it.
 If you have any news you wish to share, please contact Caz at cazburnessbeacon@gmail.com, or by phone at 07958 206529  
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Sunday 21st November

December 6, 2021

Beacon Bulletin

Our Mission To combat loneliness and isolation through Physical, Emotional and Spiritual wellbeing  
This week at the Beacon
21st November, Morning Worship led by Terry. 2pm Messy Church, Louise Quinn
Tuesday 23rd November Coffee Morning 10am to 12 am in the concourse
Friday 26th November 6.00pm Youth group
Future worship at the Beacon
28th November, Morning Worship. 11 a.m. Revd. Ash Barker, 4 p.m. Lights of Love service, led by James Hamilton and Revd. Claire Turner
5th December, Christmas Messy Church
7th December, Elders’ meeting 4pm
12th December, Christmas Nativity
24th December, Midnight Communion 11.30p.m. Christmas Eve
11th January 2022. Church Life meeting at 6.30p.m. (prayer) and 7p.m. (business)
Christmas Cracker!!                              
Saturday, 27th November 10 am – 1 pm Cake stall, craft stall, children’s bric-a-brac and Brunch available. Free crafting for the children and of course – Santa’s Grotto. Please come and join us, and please let Louise know if you can help on the day.
In the moment  exploring Mindfulness in a Christian context  Saturday, 4th December 2021, 10 am – 11.30    An invitation to those who have some experience of Mindfulness  and those who have none.  This session ipm -reparation for Advent and Christmas -you are welcome whether you attended previous sessions.    This will help you with ideas and activities to pursue afterwards,  to help you enjoy a mindful Advent and Christmas. You will need to book in advance so that the zoom link and other information can be sent to you before hand  There will be no cost, but you may like to consider an extra donation to your local church or one of the Christmas charities. For more information or book a place, please contact Jan Scott    jan.scott@live.co.uk using reference ITMonline 041221 by 1st December 2021,12 noon. If you are not familiar with Zoom or are not sure how to use it then please contact Darron Burness on 07973503236 who can help you set it up.  
Church Youth Group Every Friday 6pm – 8pm The Youth club has now been running for a while now and is proving very popular with the youngsters. It is run by Louise in partnership with the YMCA. The club is for 10 – 14-year olds. Cost is just a £1. There is no need to book just turn up on a Friday night. So, if your child/grandchild is looking to chill out on a Friday night, then get them to come along.
Tuesday Coffee Morning – every Tuesday 10 to 12.
Have you been yet?   This is a real opportunity to support each other and members of the public who are looking to get out and meet people. I would really like to publicise the coffee morning more widely, because it gives us a real opportunity to minister to the lonely and isolated and reconnect as a fellowship too. If you have not joined us on Tuesdays please come and do so, we would love to see you there.   Running alongside the Coffee morning we are pleased to be able to open the church up for silent prayer and reflection. We would encourage you to come along and sit in this splendid building. Our future hope will be to open the church on a Thursday too.  
Christmas Nativity This year Louise and Messy church will be holding their annual Nativity play on Sunday 12th December. If you have a budding actor or actress who would like to take part please contact Louise at outreachbeacon@gmail.com 
Bible Study For some time now James and a small group of us have been attending bible study on a Thursday at 7.30pm. We normally meet at Darron’s house however we also have the facility to join online. In the next few weeks, we will be looking at the lives of the disciples and their relationship with Jesus. If you would like to join us them please speak to either James, Darron or Caz.
Jars of Grace Jars of Grace for November will go to support Primrose in conjunction with the Lights of Love.
Christmas Worship Just a reminder that a warm invitation is extended to all members of the Beacon to join Emmanuel for morning worship on Christmas Day at 10.15, where James will be taking the service. There will be no service at the Beacon. An invitation has been extended to Emmanuel Church members to join us for Midnight Holy Communion at the Beacon on Christmas Eve, where James will again be leading worship. There will be no morning worship at the Beacon on Sunday 26th December.   If you would like a lift to Redditch for the Christmas Day service, please contact Terry Thompson. We plan to ensure that everyone who wants to go to the service in Emmanuel will be able to do so.
Prayer Requests. If you have any requests for prayers to be included in Sunday worship, please contact Caz or James. Prayer requests won’t be included in this bulletin unless you specifically request it.
 If you have any news you wish to share, please contact Caz at cazburnessbeacon@gmail.com, or by phone at 07958 206529  
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14th November 21

November 12, 2021

Sunday 14thNovember 2021

Our Mission To combat loneliness and isolation through Physical, Emotional and Spiritual wellbeing  
This week at the Beacon

14th November. Remembrance Sunday. No service in the morning, Civic Remembrance Service at 6.30 p.m. led by James Tuesday 16th November Coffee Morning 10am to 12 am in the concourse
Friday 19th November 6.00pm Youth group
Future worship at the Beacon

21st November, Morning Worship led by Terry. 2pm Messy Church, Louise Quinn
28th November, Morning Worship. 11 a.m. Revd. Ash Barker, 4 p.m. Lights of Love service, led by James Hamilton and Revd. Claire Turner
5th December, Christmas Messy Church
7th December, Elders’ meeting 4pm
12th December, Christmas Nativity 24th December, Midnight Communion 11.30p.m. Christmas Eve
11th January 2022. Church Life meeting at 6.30p.m. (prayer) and 7p.m. (business)
Christmas Cracker!!                              

Saturday, 27th November 10 am – 1 pm Cake stall, craft stall, children’s bric-a-brac and Brunch available. Free crafting for the children and of course – Santa’s Grotto. Please come and join us, and please let Louise know if you can help on the day.
Tuesday Coffee Morning – every Tuesday 10 to 12.  

This is a real opportunity to support each other and members of the public who are looking to get out and meet people. I would really like to publicise the coffee morning more widely, because it gives us a real opportunity to minister to the lonely and isolated and reconnect as a fellowship too. If you have not joined us on Tuesdays please come and do so, we would love to see you there.   Running alongside the Coffee morning we are pleased to be able to open the church up for silent prayer and reflection. We would encourage you to come along and sit in this splendid building. Our future hope will be to open the church on a Thursday too.  
Christmas Nativity

This year Louise and Messy church will be holding their annual Nativity play on Sunday 12th December. If you have a budding actor or actress who would like to take part please contact Louise at outreachbeacon@gmail.com 
Bible Study

For some time now James and a small group of us have been attending bible study on a Thursday at 7.30pm. We normally meet at Darron’s house however we also have the facility to join online. In the next few weeks, we will be looking at the lives of the disciples and their relationship with Jesus. If you would like to join please speak to either James, Darron or Caz.
Jars of Grace

Jars of Grace for November will go to support Primrose in conjunction with the Lights of Love.
Christmas Worship

Following discussion with the elders of both Beacon and Emmanuel Churches, a warm invitation is extended to all members of the Beacon to join Emmanuel for morning worship on Christmas Day at 10.15, where James will be taking the service. There will be no service at the Beacon. An invitation has been extended to Emmanuel Church members to join us for Midnight Holy Communion at the Beacon on Christmas Eve, where James will again be leading worship. There will be no morning worship at the Beacon on Sunday 26th December.   If you would like a lift to Redditch for the Christmas Day service, please contact Terry Thompson. We plan to ensure that everyone who wants to go to the service in Emmanuel will be able to do so.
Prayer Requests.

If you have any requests for prayers to be included in Sunday worship, please contact Caz or James. Prayer requests won’t be included in this bulletin unless you specifically request it.
Passing of David Troth

It’s will sadness that we have been informed that David Troth passed away at the end of September. David was married to Di Troth who was the cleaner at the Beacon for many years. We would ask you to pray for Di and her family at this difficult time.  
Annual Leave

James is on annual leave next week, from the 15th to the 22nd of November. He is probably going away for a few days but isn’t sure where yet.
 If you have any news you wish to share, please contact Caz at cazburnessbeacon@gmail.com, or by phone at 07958 206529  
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7th November 21

November 6, 2021

Sunday 7th November 2021

Our Mission To combat loneliness and isolation through Physical, Emotional and Spiritual wellbeing  
This week at the Beacon
7th November Morning Worship (communion) Led by James
Tuesday 9th November Coffee Morning 10am to 12 am in the concourse
Friday 12th November 6.00pm Youth group
Future worship at the Beacon
14th November. Remembrance Sunday. No service in the morning, Civic Remembrance Service at 6.30 p.m. led by James 21st November Morning Worship led by Terry. 2pm Messy Church, Louise Quinn
28th November, Morning Worship. 11 a.m. Revd. Ash Barker, 4 p.m. Lights of Love service, led by James Hamilton and Revd. Claire Turner
Tuesday Coffee Morning – every Tuesday 10 to 12.  
I would like to say thank you to everyone who supports the Coffee morning on Tuesday mornings, either by helping make coffee or by helping drink it!  This is a real opportunity to support each other and members of the public who are looking to get out and meet people. I would really like to publicise the coffee morning more widely, because it gives us a real opportunity to minister to the lonely and isolated and reconnect as a fellowship too. If you have not joined us on Tuesdays please come and do so, we would love to see you there.   Running alongside the Coffee morning are please to be able to open the church up for silent prayer and reflection. We would encourage you to come along and sit in this splendid building. Our future will be to open the church on a Thursday too.  
Christmas Cracker!!       Saturday, 27th November 10 am – 1 pm
Cake stall, craft stall, children’s bric-a-brac and Brunch Food available. Free crafting for the children and of course – Santa’s Grotto. Please come and join us, and please let Louise know if you can help on the day.
Jars of Grace  
Jars of Grace for November will go to support Primrose in conjunction with the Lights of Love.
Christmas Worship  
Following discussion with the elders of both Beacon and Emmanuel Churches, a warm invitation is extended to all members of the Beacon to join Emmanuel for morning worship on Christmas Day at 10.15, where James will be taking the service. There will be no service at the Beacon. An invitation has been extended to Emmanuel Church members to join us for Midnight Holy Communion at the Beacon on Christmas Eve, where James will again be leading worship. There will be no morning worship at the Beacon on Sunday 26th December.   If you would like a lift to Redditch for the Christmas Day service, please contact Terry Thompson. We plan to ensure that everyone who wants to go to the service in Emmanuel will be able to do so.
Churches Together B45                                                                                                    
From Claire Turner The CTB45 clergy met recently and together, have put a date in the diary for a meeting / worship gathering – Tuesday 9th November 7.30pm at Longbridge Methodist Church. (N.B. Not St. Chads as the bulletin said last week). The plan is to spend 30mins or so praying and worshipping together before moving into a meeting.  During the meeting, we need to elect a new chair – it’s due to be Jane Platt from St Leonard’s but given how strange the last year or so has been, we’re proposing that Jane and I co-chair for the next 12months.  As churches, St Leonard’s and St Chad’s are starting to work more closely together and we hope that we can support each other in holding the CTB45 group together over the next year.  Of course, at this stage, this is simply a proposal and it needs to go to a vote, which will be held on the 9th November.
Prayer Requests.
If you have any requests for prayers to be included in Sunday worship please contact Caz or James. Prayer requests won’t be included in this bulletin unless you specifically request it.  
Many thanks to Caz Burness who has agreed to edit the Beacon Bulletin from next week. If you have any news you wish to share, please contact Carrena at cazburnessbeacon@gmail.com, or by phone at 07958 206529  
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31st Oct 21

November 2, 2021

    

Sunday 31st October 2021

This week at the Beacon  
Sunday 31st October 11am Morning Worship, Revd. John Maile
Tuesday 2nd November Coffee Morning 10am to 12 am in the concourse
Tuesday 2nd November Elders Meeting at 4pm, followed by Church Life Meeting at 6.30 p.m.
Thursday 4th November Bible Study 7.30p.m. in the Sidney Roberts Room (contact James in case we are meeting online) Friday 5th November 6.00pm Youth group
Saturday 6th November 7.30 Quiz Night with Phil Masters
Future worship at the Beacon  
7th November Morning Worship (communion) Led by James
14th November. Remembrance Sunday. No service in the morning, Civic Remembrance Service at 6.30 p.m. led by James 21st November Morning Worship led by Terry. 2pm Messy Church, Louise Quinn
28th November, Morning Worship. 11 a.m. Revd. Ash Barker, 4 p.m. Lights of Love service, led by James Hamilton and Revd. Claire Turner
Tuesday Coffee Morning – every Tuesday 10 to 12.   I would like to say thank you to everyone who supports the Coffee morning on Tuesday mornings, either by helping make coffee or by helping drink it! This is a real opportunity to support each other and members of the public who are looking to get out and meet people. I would really like to publicise the coffee morning more widely, because it gives us a real opportunity to minister to the lonely and isolated and reconnect as a fellowship too. If you have not joined us on Tuesdays please come and do so, we would love to see you there.
Christmas Cracker!!                                
Saturday, 27th November 10 am – 1 pm Cake stall, craft stall, children’s bric-a-brac and Brunch Food available. Free crafting for the children and of course – Santa’s Grotto. Please come and join us, and please let Louise know if you can help on the day.
Jars of Grace  
Jars of Grace for October will go to support the Waterways Chaplains. Thank you to Richard Alford, who worked for Waterways, for leading worship last week.
Christmas Worship  
Following discussion with the elders of both Beacon and Emmanuel Churches, a warm invitation is extended to all members of the Beacon to join Emmanuel for morning worship on Christmas Day at 10.15, where James will be taking the service. There will be no service at the Beacon. An invitation has been extended to Emmanuel Church members to join us for Midnight Holy Communion at the Beacon on Christmas Eve, where James will again be leading worship. There will be no morning worship at the Beacon on Sunday 26th December.   If you would like a lift to Redditch for the Christmas Day service, please contact Terry Thompson. We plan to ensure that everyone who wants to go to the service in Emmanuel will be able to do so.
Churches Together B45                                                                                                   
From Claire Turner The CTB45 clergy met recently and together, have put a date in the diary for a meeting / worship gathering – Tuesday 9th November, 7.30pm at Longbridge Methodist Church. (N.B. Not St. Chads as the bulletin said last week). The plan is to spend 30mins or so praying and worshipping together before moving into a meeting.  During the meeting, we need to elect a new chair – it’s due to be Jane Platt from St Leonard’s but given how strange the last year or so has been, we’re proposing that Jane and I co-chair for the next 12months.  As churches, St Leonard’s and St Chad’s are starting to work more closely together and we hope that we can support each other in holding the CTB45 group together over the next year.  Of course, at this stage, this is simply a proposal and it needs to go to a vote, which will be held on the 9th November.
Email from Ian Proctor  
I received this letter from Ian which I have promised to chare with the Beacon church community.  

Hi James,
I used to attend regularly before the Pandemic, but have now moved to Malvern so will not be attending in future for obvious reasons!

Hopefully I can get to the church at some point but if you could pass on my best wishes to everyone at The Beacon and let them know I have moved.

I was always made to feel welcome and look forward to worshipping in Malvern when I settle on a Church.

I trust you are setting in to your new role in what has been a very odd 18 months for everyone.

I am vulnerable to chest infections so had not attended in person for some time, once I get my booster vaccination I will feel more confident in attending in person once more.

With Best Wishes,
  Ian Proctor
Many thanks to Carrena Burness who has agreed to edit the Beacon Bulletin from next week. If you have any news you wish to share, please contact Carrena at cazhinnigan@msn.com, or by phone at 07958 206529  
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March 2020

March 18, 2020

Thoughts From The Cottage

Dear Friends

It’s Fairtrade Fortnight and I wish it wasn’t. It’s not that I don’t believe in Fairtrade rather it’s that it should be Fairtrade every day not just for fourteen days out of three hundred and sixty-five (six, this year). I have been a Fairtrade supporter for over thirty years and still I am amazed by the reaction of some Christians to Fairtrade issues which is, in essence, to say that it is not the place of the church or individual Christians to tell them how to live their lives, where to shop and what to buy or what not to buy. Well I’ve got news for you. It is the place of the church and individual Christians to tell people how to live their lives. Old Testament Patriarchs and Prophets, New Testament Apostles and Epistle writers, even Jesus, the Son of God, himself told us how to live. In John 14:15 Jesus said ‘if you love me keep my commandments’, he was not referring to the Ten Commandments, which are themselves all-embracing, but to his own words. In fact, he gave over three hundred commands but some related specifically to that time and others were re-iterations. It is generally accepted that there were around fifty and they cover all aspects of life. A list is given later in this Newsletter.

Fairtrade is not an optional extra it is a Christian imperative. It comes from Jesus who told us to “love our neighbour as ourselves” and this was only summarising the whole law as dictated by God. In the Old Testament we read that God entrusted the whole of creation into the responsibility of the human race. The clear inference is that we are to look after God’s creation just as he himself would. Just in case there is any doubt about how this works the Old Testament is full of passages telling us how to treat widows, orphans, foreigners, immigrants, the poor, the disadvantaged, the dispossessed, the ill, the family and each other. In the New Testament Jesus tells us that we are salt and light, clear implications that we have an effect on the world around us. The Apostle Paul told us that we shine like stars in a wicked and depraved generation. Again clear evidence that we have an impact on those around us.

Fairtrade is not something new it is part of God’s plan for the human race. If we treated everyone properly and didn’t simply want the best product at the cheapest price then we would not need Fairtrade fortnight and the world would be a better place. Farmers, labourers, producers, manufacturers would all get a fair price for what they produce and poverty levels would be reduced. If we shunned large conglomerates that flout World Health Organisation and International Trade regulations then poverty, sickness and early death would be reduced. If we shopped locally, brought more seasonal products as well as more UK produced and manufactured products carbon emissions would be reduced and climate change reversed.

As individuals we can make a difference, as Christians we must make a difference. Christ has commanded us to do so and God has given this world over to us. It is our responsibility to treat all people fairly, honestly, humanely and with love, We can begin this process by abandoning Fairtrade Fortnight and becoming Fairtrade people.

Ian Ring

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February 2020

March 18, 2020

Thoughts From The Cottage

Dear Friends

The front page of the Bromsgrove Standard recently carried an article about the reduction of First Bus service 144 from half-hourly to hourly between Bromsgrove & Birmingham. The article talked about the difficulty it would cause some people. The reality is that the service is carrying less passengers as people choose to use train or car and also that the service is being destroyed by traffic congestion. In a bizarre turn of irony Birmingham City Council has decided it wants to restrict car use and promote public transport yet is not willing to help public transport by creating bus lanes. People wax lyrical about the ‘good old days’ when the 144 ran every twenty minutes through to Malvern with significant duplication on summer Sundays then hop in their cars to drive from Rubery to Bromsgrove. More people are making the journey than ever but they are not using the 144 to do it. In many ways this situation has parallels with the church.

We have become used to decline and this shows itself in reduced attendance and the spreading of ministerial resources ever thinner. We remember the old days with a fondness that forgets the reality. We see lively, growing churches and we are envious yet rather than learn from them we say that their way is not for us. There are an ever increasing number of ideologies and activities competing for our time, money and attention. Yet we still long to see a turnaround for us, as long as it does not involve change to our familiar way of doing things. We find comfort in the familiar. As the old-style ‘hell-fire and damnation’ preacher said as he thumped the pulpit ‘we have just sung “change and decay in all around I see”, if we don’t change then we will surely decay’.

What the users of the 144 want is a service that meets their needs with comfortable, clean buses. Good time-keeping and state of the art features such as USB charging points and video displays. Other people want it there in case the car is unavailable or trains are cancelled, a bit like an insurance policy. Many people want the church there in case they need it whilst others are attracted to large mega-churches. What is that they offer which the traditional church doesn’t? Most of them started as house fellowships or small groups in hired premises although some are traditional churches that transformed themselves. They enjoy good Biblical teaching that does not omit or modify Scripture presented in a lively way that demonstrates its relevance to the issues of the day. This comes in the context of relaxed, informal contemporary worship, where people expect to meet the living God and be challenged by what they hear. Testimony of changed lives will be regularly shared in midweek life groups and there will be a culture of invitation whereby regular worshippers invite friends and family to attend worship with them. New initiatives will be tried and tithing will be the norm. Planting of new congregations will be a regular occurrence.

In the traditional church in the country we are confused. We try to launch new initiatives, revamp what we do and plant new congregations whilst planning for decline and reducing ministry. It simply won’t work. We have to stop managing decline and go for growth. It will work – because it is God’s will for the church.

Ian Ring

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January 2020

March 18, 2020

Thoughts From The Cottage

Dear Friends

How do we view our success as a church? Do we judge it by the use of our building? If so our thriving community use with three to five hundred people through the doors each week, depending on programme is surely success. Do we judge it by numbers in church on a Sunday? If so we may be less inclined to see ourselves as successful. Wouldn’t it be good to have fifty to sixty people in worship, Well we have done  at least that for four consecutive Sundays in December; 1st Morning Worship + Lights of Love; 8th Messy Nativity & Gift Service; 15th Morning Worship + Messy Church + members representing us at St Chad’s 60th Anniversary; 22nd Morning Worship + Candlelight Carols. However I am not sure that either of these measures help us gauge our success as a church.

The purpose of a church is summed up in two closely related aims, to build the Kingdom of God on earth and to share the good news of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. The measuring of success in these is much more difficult and uncertain. Perhaps we could use criteria such as how many people does the church come into contact with, how many conversions to Christianity we have seen, how many organisations we are involved in, how do we engage with politics, what is our response to social issues, how do we interact with other Christians. If you want to see how Christians should behave and how they should deal with issues that confront them read the Epistles in the Bible. We could have our own Epistle Challenge to read each epistle and reflect on it over the next few months. A suggestion on how to do this comes later in this Newsletter.

For now let us unpack the criteria a little beginning with ‘how many people does the church come into contact with?’ By this I don’t mean how many people come through our doors. I mean what is the sum total of the people that members of the Beacon Church Centre come into contact with each week. That is our sphere of influence. Our words, our language, our actions, our lifestyle, our thoughts all come into play here. Are we good ambassadors for Christ? Perhaps the simplest criterion to assess is ‘how many conversions to Christianity we have seen?’ One of our tasks is to bring people to Christ so that he may bring them to faith. How often do we do this?

Our third criterion ‘how many organisations are we involved in?’ is related to our first criteria. It is no good bemoaning the lack of, for instance, youth clubs or complaining about the attitude, ethos or inactivity of organisations if we are not prepared to get involved in them ourselves.  The next two criteria ‘how do we engage with politics?’ and ‘what is our response to social issues?’ are closely related. We are all very good at complaining about decisions made by local and national government, perhaps we should get involved with local political party groups and try to shape them for the better. It is great to collect for foodbanks, baby boxes of hope, Newstarts, and other charitable work but what are we doing to change the system so as to prevent the situation that causes such needs. Finally, ‘how do we interact with other Christians?’ Do we see them as competitors or as co-workers, are we envious of churches like Moneyhull, Vineyard, St Luke’s Gas Street? Perhaps we should ask what we can learn from them?

Finally, have you been changed, has your faith been deepened, is your lifestyle any different this year than last year? If not what are you going to do about it?

Ian Ring

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December 2019

March 18, 2020

Dear Friends

Let’s hear a story, a truly wonderful story of how and why we celebrate Christmas. It happened just over 2000 years ago and is recalled for us by Mary, now an old lady.

I grew up in a little town in Galilee called Nazareth. There was nothing special about my childhood, but nothing unusual or bad either. In my teens I became engaged to the village carpenter and we were looking forward to our marriage but then everything changed. One morning I was cleaning for mum as usual when I became aware of a bright light and I sensed the presence of someone, I turned round and there was an angel standing there, in our living room. Then he spoke, “Good morning! You’re beautiful with God’s beauty, Beautiful inside and out! God be with you.” I was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured me,           “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus. I said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.” He answered, “Nothing is impossible with God! The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the child you bring to birth will be called Holy, Son of God and Saviour.”

Now Joseph was not best pleased when he discovered that I was pregnant. Angry but noble, Joseph was determined to break off the engagement quietly so I would not be disgraced. While he was trying to figure out a way to do this, he had a dream. God’s angel spoke in the dream: “Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus—‘God saves’—because he will save his people from their sins.” Joseph woke up and did exactly what God’s angel commanded in the dream: He brought the wedding forward but we did not consummate the marriage until after the birth of Jesus. In fact I went to spend a few months with my cousin Elizabeth

I came back from my cousin’s and Joseph and I were preparing for the birth when we heard that Caesar Augustus had ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. Everyone had to go back to their home town to be accounted for. So as Joseph was of Davidic descent we had to go from Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, which was David’s town. It was a long journey, not easy for a woman who was eight months
pregnant. When we finally got there we couldn’t find anywhere to stay. The city was jam packed with visitors. All the inns were full but eventually we found a kind innkeeper who offered us space in his stable. It was wonderful, quiet, warm and private which was just as well because that night I gave birth to my firstborn son. I had to wrap him in a blanket and put him in a manger because there was nowhere else.

We had just got back to sleep when we heard a commotion outside the door. Joseph got up to see what it was and found some shepherds there. He invited them in and they told us an amazing story. They were in the fields on the hills above Bethlehem. It was a quiet night but just after they had set night watches over the sheep they became aware of a bright light, almost like daylight. Amazed they looked up and saw an angel in the midst of the light. They were terrified but the angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to tell you about a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Saviour has just been born in Bethlehem, a Saviour who is Messiah and Master. Go and find him. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.” The angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: “Glory to God in the heavens, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.”

After the angels disappeared the shepherds talked it over and decided to come down to Bethlehem and see for themselves what the Angels had told them. They arrived out of breath and found us in the stable, When they left us the Shepherds told everyone they met what the angels had said about Jesus and all who heard it were impressed. The shepherds returned to the fields and let loose, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!

We couldn’t go back to Nazareth with a young baby so we rented a house in Bethlehem and Joseph worked as a carpenter. Some time later we had some very exotic visitors, a group of Sages. They had travelled hundreds of miles from their homes in Eastern Asia and they told us an amazing story. Apparently they were astrologers and were always studying the stars to see what they could learn about the world. One day they noticed a new, really bright star in the sky. They were very excited because of the ancient prophecies that said that such a star heralded the birth of a great new King, greater than the world has ever seen before. They discussed it and decided that they simply had to follow the star and pay homage to the newborn King.  The journey took them across deserts, mountains and plains until eventually they arrived in Jerusalem.

Naturally they went to the royal palace and met King Herod, asking him, “Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews?” story. He consulted his advisors who told them to go to Bethlehem. Anyway the star appeared again, and led them to us. They came in, knelt down and worshiped Jesus. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh. They stayed with us for supper and then we all bedded down for the night. We were all asleep when it happened again, an Angel appeared with messages for us; “Sages, Herod is trying to trick you. Don’t go back to see him. He sees Jesus as a threat and wants to kill him.” “Mary, Joseph, Get up now. Herod wants to kill Jesus. Take him and go to Egypt you’ll be safe there.” That’s exactly what we did. We travelled south together until the road splits just after Beersheba. We then turned west towards Egypt and the Sages headed east.

Of course there is much more Mary can tell us about the life of Jesus, his childhood, his ministry and his death and resurrection but this is the beginning of the most beautiful story ever told, and it’s not fiction it is history. Jesus, God’s son, came to earth and life was never the same again for everyone involved in the story. This story still changes lives.  At Christmas, we are not just remembering how he came but also why – to show God’s love and to give us the opportunity to have a new relationship with him.

The world (and that means you and me) need Jesus today just as much as they did 2023 years ago. Will you celebrate this year not just what happened in the past, but what can happen today – Jesus coming to     share your life and will you tell the story to those who do not yet kn