• Beacon in 60 Seconds

    It is our pleasure to introduce our head of Communications, Tobi, who is joined here by his lovely wife Abi and their beautiful daughter Charlotte.

    Q. What do you love about Beacon?

    Tobi: I love the people; the church is a body of people and I think the people in Beacon are awesome. We’re a bit of a mad-mixed bunch and I love everyone’s individual uniqueness.

    Abi: I like the humility of Beacon best. There is no room for ego’s here, you just have to put Christ first. It’s how we roll.

    Q. What’s your favourite book of the Bible?

    Abi: Proverbs. I’ve read it at least five times and I read certain Proverbs over and over again. And Psalms. My favourites are Proverbs 31 – the woman one (!) and Proverbs 1-3.

    Tobi: Ecclesiastes.

    Abi: Don’t you find it depressing?

    Tobi: No, I find it insightful.

    Abi: Yeah, it is actually.

    Q. Who has the most annoying habits?


    Abi: This is very easy!

    Tobi: Of course, it’s Abi!

    Abi: Of course it’s you Tobi! 100%!

    Tobi: It’s your silly dancing that really gets me.

    Abi: That’s not annoying; it’s just a dance! Tobi’s snoring is far more annoying.

    Q. Which actor would you like to play you in the film of your life?

    Abi: Viola Davis – she just won an Oscar for Best Supporting Female in the film Fences, she’s an amazing actress.

    Tobi: Idris Elba. Of course!

    Abi: Because you’ve got the same body type?

    Tobi: Exactly!

    Q. What’s the best present anyone could give you?

    Abi: Sleep.

    Tobi: A winning lottery ticket that hasn’t been claimed!

    Tobi: Actually, what would be the best present? I just like people.

    Abi: Are you sure? Of course you want the lottery ticket!

    Tobi: Yeah, you’re right. Euro Millions specifically…

    Q. Tobi, what’s your vision for Comms?

    Tobi: I’ve been thinking about this, it has two parts – promoting Beacon so that Christians who are new to the area can find us and know that there is a home here ready and waiting for them and also to provide an opportunity for those who don’t know Jesus yet to see how knowing Jesus and reading the Bible can change your life. As the leader of Comms I have the opportunity to communicate these things in so many different ways. It’s exciting and I want to get the word out.

  • Beacon in 60 Seconds

    Please meet our Crèche Leaders – Nick and Lally. A wonderful, fun and Christ centred couple who lead our crèche with sensitivity and a sense of humour.


    Q. What is the biggest impact that Beacon has had on you?

    Nick: It’s been impactful seeing the elders waiting for God to work through them.

    Lally: The first thing that came to mind was probably a quietening in my spirit.

    Nick: What?! You’ve got to give more than that! People are going to read it and think ‘I want to know more’!

    Lally: Yeah, get people interested!

    Nick: This isn’t an advert for you!

    Lally: Yes, it is! Then people come and speak to me….and then I get new friends!

    Lally: When I say ‘quietening’, I mean less hustle – I feel like I have to hustle for things less – things I’m passionate about, things that I want to see happen in the Kingdom, in church, in Brixton. I think Beacon is a place that has taught me to agitate less for these things myself and be more peaceful about what I want to see happen. I’m still very passionate about them but I’m feeling like God will lead us there and I have to push less.

    Q. Who is your hero of the faith?

    Nick: I’m reading William Booth’s autobiography at the moment. He was the founder of the Salvation Army. He was pretty radical and raw.

    Lally: St Augustine is a personal hero. He seems to have experienced and put into words some of the questions and longings and confusions that I’ve gone through. He seems so incredibly real even though he lived so long ago. It shows the constancy of God - that people can have those responses to him hundreds of years ago, and it looks exactly the same now.

    Q. What is the worst job you have ever had to do?

    Nick: I really liked this job, but objectively it wasn’t pretty – when I was at university, I worked as a hospital porter and a lot of the work I had to do was pretty dark.

    Lally: This is more sad than funny but one of the worst things that comes to mind is when I was in an orphanage in Kenya and the kids would share beds and often wet the bed and no one really made them wash their clothes and bed linen. The stench of the urine was so bad that it burned my nose and made my eyes water. I really struggled to sleep – I was in a room with the youngest ones. I felt really bad and didn’t want to make a fuss – I was only there for five days and they all had to live with it.

    Q. What was your childhood ambition?

    Nick: It fluctuated from owning a bar in Hawaii to being a cricketer, to being a cricket journalist, to being a teacher, to being a really wealthy businessman in a penthouse. It changed every time I saw something that looked cool. Oh, and an astronaut of course…

    Lally: I wanted to solve global poverty!

    Nick: (makes puking sound)

    Lally: And also a ballerina and a vet.

    Nick: I think when I said ‘bar in Hawaii’… I was a kid, I don’t think I meant alcohol bar, I think I meant living on a beach and not having very much work to do.

    Q. Who would survive best on a desert island

    Lally: Nick, because he wouldn’t notice that he was on a desert island! He would just get on with his day!

    Nick: I don’t forward plan very well so I’d probably eat all the rations straight away. If it’s a question of who would survive the longest, I’d probably be the happiest but Lally would outlive me.

    Lally: Or I’d spend so long planning that I’d die of starvation!

    Q. What’s the best thing about leading the crèche team?

    Lally: Seeing these little people that God has designed and getting to know their personalities from day one.

    Nick: Seeing all the different gifts that have been put into the kids. They’re all so fresh. It’s exciting to see what’s been sown into them and to try and nurture their gifts and personality traits. It’s fun getting to know them.

    Q. What is your favourite word?

    Lally: What?  Or why?

    Nick: Beer.

  • Beacon in 60 Seconds

    This week we delight in introducing Matt and Elisha DaCosta. Truly a Power Couple, Matt and Elisha are involved in many ways at Beacon; Elisha manages our events stylishly and effortlessly while Matt helps with our technical issues and is part of the Elders Plus group. Together they lead the worship team. See below for some interesting insights into their life as a couple.


    Q. Tell us something that no one in Beacon knows about you!

    Matt: I want a lawyer!

    Elisha: (rolling her eyes) Matt used to sing solos! He once sang a song from Joseph’s Technicolor Dreamcoat to an audience of 10,000 people!

    Elisha: I did a photography degree. I used to work on a cruise ship as a photographer, I travelled the world.

    Q. What’s your favourite thing about Jesus?

    Elisha: He’s funny, he makes me laugh.

    Matt: He doesn’t change, he’s always the same. Great guy.

    Q. Do you have a favourite worship band or artist?

    Elisha: Israel Houghton

    Matt: I don’t think I have a favourite, it changes.

    Q. What were you like as a child?

    Matt: I was naughty! I used to cut peoples school ties in the guillotine. I got sent home for it but it was fun - I’d do it again!

    Elisha: He’s actually really mischievous but no one knows that – he finds pleasure in being mischievous!

    Matt: Elisha was like a grown up!

    Elisha: I was! I was old before my years. I missed my childhood. Matt makes me a bit more fun, I’m too serious.

    Matt: People probably wouldn’t think that about us – it looks like the other way around. Elisha tells me at least once a day to ‘stop being so silly’!

    Q. How did you meet?

    Elisha: At our previous church. Matthew’s dad was my dad’s youth leader!

    Matt: That’s going to sound weird!

    Elisha: I think it’s cool!

    Q. What do you do in your ‘spare’ time? (Ha!)

    Matt: Not a lot – we have Titus now! If I had some spare time I would either listen to music and I enjoy doing coding when I can.

    Elisha: Did you notice that he didn’t say ‘spending time with my wife’?!

    Matt: That’s not what I call spare time – we have quality time set aside.

    Elisha: I like watching films – mind numbing films. Then you can turn it off and get on with your life.

    Q. What was your coolest moment?

    Matt: I got a 25-metre swimming certificate when I was 10. I peaked too soon!

    Elisha: I was involved with Oxjam, a music event in Brixton. That was pretty cool.

    Q. Who does the cooking in your house?

    Matt: Just Eat!

    Matt: Elisha does the majority of the cooking.

    Elisha: That’s better.

    Q. What’s your vision for your team?

    Elisha: That they would be great friends who can not only worship together but do life together.

    Matt: And to be the best they can be with the gifts God has given them.

  • Beacon in 60 Seconds

    Let us introduce Ibi and Sinmi.  This beautiful couple make sure Beacon runs smoothly on a Sunday - both run behind-the-scene teams: Ibi leads the hospitality team who provide tea and coffee every week (and much more besides) and her husband Sinmi leads the welcome team who work hard each week setting up the hall and packing everything away again each week while simultaneously smiling and welcoming people to church.  They’re always friendly and hardworking.  If you see them, make sure you say hi.

    Q. What’s your favourite thing about Beacon?

    Sinmi: Two things – the worship and how people express their love for each other.

    Ibi: The people.


    Q. Who inspires you in the church and why?

    Ibi: Emma Goulds – she’s always so willing to go deep and be available.  She makes the effort to make time for people and I really appreciate that.

    Sinmi: Owen and Garth.  Owen is very laid back, I like his approach and I think he handles things well and gives good advice.  Garth… I can’t put my finger on it but he’s very friendly.  I like his laid back approach as well.


    Q. How do you relate to God?

    Ibi: Through prayer mostly.

    Sinmi: Worship.


    Q. Do you have any siblings and where do you come in the birth order?

    A. Both have three older siblings!


    Q. Are you typical youngest children?

    Ibi: Sinmi definitely is!  He’s a clown!

    Ibi: I don’t think I am, I show more eldest child traits.


    Q. What’s your best achievement?

    Sinmi: Weight loss

    Ibi: What about me?!

    Ibi: In that case, mine is getting the Park Run trophy in 2015!


    Q. How did Sinmi propose?

    Sinmi:  It was a nice day, we went to a restaurant, had Ibi’s favourite food, then I went down on one knee… thankfully the restaurant was empty!

    Ibi:  It was a nice moment.


    Q. Who would be most likely to deal with a spider or mouse?

    Ibi (straight away): Me!

    Sinmi: I would deal with spiders… you can have the mice!


    Q. What’s your vision for your team?

    Sinmi: I want to see the team grow and the functionality to run well.  Ultimately to feel like a team and get to know each other properly.  To bond.

    Ibi: I want my team to be invisible – to work so well and efficiently that people don’t see us working behind the scenes.

  • Beacon in 60 Seconds


    In case you haven’t already, meet Bill and Jen Holden. Bill is the floor manager for Beacon on a Sunday and makes sure everything runs smoothly, he also manages the visuals team who make sure the PowerPoint is on point each week. Jen works in the Beacon Office as Admin/Office Manager. Together they support the Ministry Leaders.

    Q. How long have you been at Beacon?

    A. We joined in September 2009 – just over 8 years.


    Q. What brought you to Beacon?

    Jen: the short answer would be God!

    Bill: the fuller answer is we always had a relationship with Beacon – we went to Kings church where Beacon was planted from, we had friends and family who joined the church, we went to the Beacon launch and visited a few times. We always felt drawn to it.

    Jen: we felt God could use us in Beacon but it wasn’t clear at the time how that would be. It was a bit of a leap of faith.


    Q. What’s your best dance move?!

    Jen: I don’t really dance, I’m a bit awkward. But I enjoy making up actions to songs with my friends. For example; Build Me Up Buttercup by the Foundations – I can do actions to pretty much the whole song. It’s fun!

    Bill: I don’t really dance either – I just kind of stand there and do small fist pumps side to side. It’s hard to explain. It came out of mocking dancing one night but it kind of stuck.


    Q. What decade do you identify with?

    Jen: I love the ‘60’s – the fashion, the music, it looks like quite an exciting time to be alive.

    Bill: I was a victim of the ‘90’s – shell suits etc. But a decade I enjoy would be the ‘30’s – post first world war, art deco, very stylish - fashion and industry were doing interesting things. It was very neat!


    Q. What’s your favourite Bible Verse?

    Jen: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

    Bill: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

    Jen: Ooh, that’s a good one too! I love the Bible!


    Q. If you could choose a Bible story to be made into a film, which would you choose?

    Both: Gideon! He had an epic story.


    Q. If you could have any superpower, what would you like to have?

    Bill: I’d like the ability to take everyone else’s superpowers like Peter Petreli in Heroes!

    Jen: that’s a bit lame, you need to choose one!

    Jen: I’d want super strength because I’m really weak!


    Q. If you could have three people for dinner – alive or dead – who would you choose?

    Jen: Can I choose Jesus? He loved a meal!

    Bill: I would choose Nikola Tessler, he was an inventor who wanted to make the world a better place and improve life for people.

    Jen: Audrey Hepburn would make this the ultimate trio! She was fabulous! She was stylish, elegant, wise and compassionate. And she had a pet deer! That’s super cool!

  • Beacon in 60 Seconds


    In the hot seat this week we have Ben and Emma Arnold. Ben is an Elder at Beacon and handles the church finances in an effortless and admirable fashion. Emma is his lovely wife, woman of faith and Ben’s #1 fan.

    Q. How long have you been at Beacon?

    A. 8 years - we came here in January 2009 with Owen and Pauline.


    Q. What’s your favourite Beacon memory?

    Emma: The growing family; seeing more Beaconites being added over the years. The camaraderie is so fun.

    Ben: How God has led us as a church, building his church his way. Quite frankly, it’s a privilege to be part of this church.


    Q. Where were you when you first gave your life to Jesus?

    Emma: Spring Harvest in the ‘80’s. I don’t remember the year!

    Ben: Can’t remember a specific moment but in 1984/5 when I was at boarding school I was confirmed. I decided to give Christianity a try – I sat down in my room with my Bible to see if it’s claims were true and I haven’t looked back.


    Q. Describe your perfect day.

    Emma: Going up to London with the family, seeing a musical in the West End and having a lovely meal together.

    Ben: I can’t think of anything but when Hannah was little (maybe four or five) she made a picture for me describing her interpretation of my perfect day (I still have it at home). In Hannah’s picture, my perfect day starts with a curry in Brick Lane, I then go to a bass shop and buy a new bass guitar, then I go home and play my new guitar while drinking a glass of wine and then last of all I go to bed and fall asleep on top of the laptop!


    Q. Did you have a nickname at school?

    Ben. Loads! Carrot top, duracel, red setter… basically anything that referred to my hair!

    Emma. Ben calls me Boo Bear but I didn’t really have a nickname at school.


    Q. What’s your favourite thing to do together?

    Ben. Spending time together with nothing crowding us in. Holidays are good for this.

    Emma. Going out for a nice meal. But not curry!

  • Beacon in 60 Seconds


    Welcome to our first instalment of ‘Beacon in 60 Seconds’, our new weekly segment where we learn a little bit more about the leaders and members of Beacon.

    Starting us off is Phil Hopgood, Elder and temporary lead pastor while Owen is on sabbatical.

    Q. What brought you to Beacon?

    A. In a word, Owen! I’ve always felt an attachment with him spiritually so when he asked me I just had to come.


    Q. What would you love to see happen in the church this year?

    A. Numerical growth would be lovely. And real joy in worship and in one another’s company because we have the best news in the world.


    Q. What do you love most about Beacon?

    A. The people.


    Q. Tell us something that no one in Beacon knows about you.

    A. I’m actually a member of another church! (Don’t worry Beaconites, Phil isn’t going anywhere; the ‘other church’ is St Paul’s Cathedral!)


    Q. If you could have three people for dinner, alive or dead, who would they be?

    A. George Muller; he’s a real hero of the faith for me, my Grandad who has sadly passed away but I would love to be able to share the gospel with him and Corrie Ten Boom, I would love to hear about what life was like standing up for Christ during the war.

    Q. What came first; the chicken or the egg?

    A. Egg!  I like eggs...

  • A joy rediscovered

    Having not played keys for worship for the last nine months or so, I’ve been stretching my fingers again and I admit - I’m loving it! I have the privilege of playing alongside friends; I get to watch, face-on, the church lost in worship; and I find I'm able to worship myself as I play. What’s not to like? It’s a joy! It’s true - I am a bit rusty. There’s been a little bit of a time-cost. But it’s been worth it. Isn’t that just the way of it with God? We think we’re bringing Him something, but He gives back much more than we think we’ve given Him. ‘Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’  So - keep giving, Church. Whatever it is you’re giving, keep giving it - and more. You’ll never out-give Him…and it’ll bring you joy! 
    Phil (elder and musician)
  • Phil the Gap

    A New Year starts  -  and I’m looking forward to ‘Phil-ing in’ for Owen for the next four months, while he takes his very well-earned sabbatical from leading the church. One of the first things I was able do as I took hold of the reins was to visit Val, Faith and baby Eden. ‘Hey’ I thought, ‘..this pastoral lark isn’t bad. What a joy!’ And, of course, that’s what leading should mostly be full of: Joy. The writer of the book of Hebrews says that if leading becomes a burden and not a joy, it’s of 'no benefit' to the church. So - I’m hoping for lots of joy over these next few months, so that by God’s good grace I’ll be of maximum benefit to you! Happy New Year! With love, Phil. 

  • Churches Together Celebration

    You are invited to join Churches Together Brixton for an evening of celebration and prayer. This is a wonderful opportunity to gather with other Christians in Brixton and to support the work we do together. Guest speaker: Arch Deacon of Lambeth. 


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