news

  • Beacon in 60 Seconds

    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. 

  • CAP Hampers Feedback

    Before Christmas Beacon Church and donors from the community distributed 40 hampers to CAP clients in poverty. Here are some of their responses. Thank you to all those who donated so generously.  

     "Just a short note to say Thank you very much, For your kind thoughts . I was pleasantly, Actually, surprised to receive those gifts. Call me old fashioned but, I look forward to opening them on Christmas day. Merry Christmas."  

    "I would like to pass on my thanks to you and CAP for the totally unexpected Christmas hamper. When I got home last night and saw the bag outside my door I was a bit uncertain about why it was there. But when I got it inside and read the cards and saw the gifts I was completely side swipe with shock. Thank you very much for your generosity and thoughtfulness. I really appreciate the practicality of the items, the children and I really appreciate it; it will come in handy over the Christmas season. Thanks once again."

    "Thank you so much for Christmas hamper. Our God is awesome, I was talking with my mum earlier and going over our Christmas shopping list knowing it will be difficult to get all. But I didn't let mum know. Then a knock at the door and it was your rep. I am so grateful. The items enclosed were items on list. can't stop praising and thanking God and you. God bless you"🙏

    "Marry Christmas to you John and closeset to you. Thank you very much for the presents I have received. It was very unexpected wonderful surprise. Many thanks to Alex & Edoly, Yourself John & CAP Brixton. May the presence of the Lord overshadow you All this Christmas & every day of 2016 & New Year 2017. Blessings".

    For more on the work of Christians Aganist Poverty in Brixton click here

  • Beacon Update

    20th Dec 2016

    The power of true prayer

    Hezekiah’s illness

    ​"In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, ‘This is what the Lord says: put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.’ ​ Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, ‘Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.’ And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: ‘Go and tell Hezekiah, “This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city." Isaiah 38:1-6

    Hezekiah is told by the prophet that he should prepare himself for death. The words appear final and complete, but as often in prophecy there is an opportunity. By warning him of his future God gave Hezekiah the opportunity to pray for a different outcome - for his life. Hezekiah neither prays specifically for healing nor for another fifteen years, but rather he asks that God would remember him and his walk. He had indeed been faithful and devoted although not as completely as it sounds. To us this prayer can appear a bit selfish, yet God answers. He grants extended life and the promise of deliverance from Israel’s enemies to Hezekiah. Prayer does not always follow a logical or methodological pattern. Understand that and we will see more prayers answered when we make personal appeals to God.

    Last week​ - it was a busy one as we lead up to Christmas and my sabbatical. Last Thursday a few of us did the Christmas Hamper deliveries for some of the CAP clients and others around the church. This was a wonderful opportunity to show love and support in a practical way to people in and around our community.  Kate Berry, who organised the hampers for the CAP clients, has a message for those that contributed:

    "Huge thank you to Beaconites for their amazing generosity and enthusiasm for everything they have done to fill and distribute the CAP hampers.  People have been so overwhelmingly kind."

    On Friday the office team had their Christmas lunch at the Prince Regent, we had a lovely afternoon together. I do really appreciate the time, effort and commitment shown by Jen, Jon, Sere and Phil. I will miss them when I am away.

    Carol Service ​- Sunday we had our carol service in the evening. What a great evening we had with so many visitors both from the school and friends of people in the church. The school choir did a fantastic job, on one carol they sang in both Spanish and Portuguese! The children of Beacon produced a wonderful piece of artwork, based on John 1:5, which went on display during the evening.


    Thanks​ - I want to thank the Headteacher Nadia Mcintosh for allowing the choir to come and sing and also her support over this last term to Beacon. Also thanks to Shauna Sharkey the choir director who prepared them so brilliantly. From the Beacon end I would like to thank the following people who attended early to help set up and make it all work so well. Bill, Jen, Elisha, Matt, Josh, Ruth, Pauline, Phil, Andy, Sinmi and Ibi. Thanks to everyone else who chipped in.

    Sabbatical - This is my last week until after Easter.  I am so grateful to God for all he has done at Beacon.  He has truly kept the promise made so early on; 'I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.'  Over the years God has truly been a Father to the church; protecting, providing and being present with us.  He is the one we continue to look to for the fulfillment of all that he has promised and purposed for the church.

    Hylton Update - Yasmin comes home today and Rhianna will be home by Saturday.  We are all looking forward to a family Christmas together with our wider family.  Pauline and I remain so grateful to God for his kindness and grace towards us.  His blessing upon both our marriage and our family.  We remain committed to following his path for our lives no matter what!

    I will continue to pray for the church, that God will continue to guide and direct its steps and those that lead it.

    Updates will return...

    Much blessing on you all.

    Dates -

    22nd December - office closes

    4th January - office reopens

    8th January - first service of 2017 (There will be no services on either 25th December or 1st January)

    18th April - my first day back in the office

  • Beacon Update

    13th Dec 2016

    One of our biggest challenges

    "Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the Lord. Yet he too is wise and can bring disaster; he does not take back his words. He will rise up against that wicked nation, against those who help evildoers. But the Egyptians are mere mortals and not God; their horses are flesh and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out his hand, those who help will stumble, those who are helped will fall; all will perish together." Isaiah 31:1-3

    I read these sobering verses this morning. On more than one occasion and specifically in 2 Kings 18, the people of Israel and Judah were guilty of looking to other people for help rather than God himself. This was a grave sin in God’s eyes that his people would trust in mere mortal man for their deliverance over himself, part of the judgment upon them was because of this sin. We can easily miss the point here because we certainly don’t trust in chariots and horsemen for our deliverance. However, how many times do we trust in ourselves and our own abilities and resources or in others that we know, rather than the Lord himself. Sometimes our prayers are said not in faith that we believe God will answer but because we think we ought. This passage is clear, people are not God and our resources are not his Spirit. When you trust in people both those you trust in and you who trust will fail. Learn to put your complete trust in God, he will never let you down!



    Last week​ - I had a number of meetings, with a view to sorting things and putting things in place for my sabbatical. I have had a couple of encouraging meetings around the foodbank. On Sunday the church prayed for Pauline and I. It feels very much that God has led us to this point, preparing the church and us for this break. There was a particular word that God would use Pauline to help strengthen my faith. This seemed very relevant to us, as we have very much felt the sabbatical is to be a shared experience, even though Pauline will obviously have to work. It was also interesting that the person who brought this word had received it some months ago whilst at Newday and had just not had an opportunity to share it.

    Sabbatical​ - So what will I be doing whilst I am away? Nothing has yet been set in stone but these are some of the things that we are considering:

    - A trip to Israel to visit my brother.

    - A trip to the States to the Pastors conference at Bethlehem Baptist.

    - Visits to numerous churches in and around the UK and in particular London.

    - I have two preaching engagements and one wedding.

    - The opportunity to collect many of my thoughts around the issue of diversity and marriage.

    Hylton update ​- During the time I am away, Pauline and I celebrate our 50th birthdays, Rhianna is 21 in March and Daisy is 18 in April. It should be great to be off during these times of family celebrations. In other family news Yasmin has interviewed and accepted a job as a Data Manager at a secondary school in Blackpool. We are thanking God for his provision of this job for her. We are very much looking forward to have Yas and Rhianna back for Christmas and have lots of fun things planned for our family day on 24th Dec.

    Dates

    18th Dec​ - Christmas Carol Service 5pm featuring the Richard Atkins Primary School Choir

    22nd Dec​ - office close

    4th Jan​ 2017​ - office reopens

    8th Jan 2017 ​- first service in 2017. There will be no services on either 25th Dec or 1st Jan.

  • Beacon Update

    6th Dec 2016

    Living in the light of eternity - Part 4

    "For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done." Matthew 16:27

    The disciples lived everyday in the light of this truth. Jesus is coming back! They were convinced by his own words as in this passage. ‘The Son of Man is going to come’ and also in the words of the angels, who said to them. ‘This same Jesus...will come back.’ Such belief shaped their actions, attitudes and prayers. Their resilience against opposition was stronger because they believed Jesus is coming back. Their determination to build well and on the rock was shaped by their belief that when he returned he would reward each person. Salvation was not the reward, that was the grace gift given to all who trusted in the name of Jesus. The reward was to do with how they lived and what they did.

    Do you live with eternity in view? Or do you subconsciously or even consciously live as though this is it? Your resilience, your motivation are not strengthened by an eternal perspective? Can I encourage you to gain such a view?  It will help you as you face opposition and the many temptations the world has to offer.

    Last week​ - We have moved the update from Monday’s to Tuesdays. This now allows me to write on what has happened over the last week or so including the last weekend. Apologies for there being no update last week.

    Plans for my sabbatical are taking shape; for the last few weeks I have been meeting and chatting to various leaders in the church and asking them to step up, some into completely new roles. I have been so encouraged by the positive response of the church. I have also been in discussion around my roles in Foodbank and Newday, these conversations have also been very fruitful.

    Last Sunday we were privileged to have Rev Ben Goodyear with us, he leads the churches together group in Brixton and he and I have been praying together regularly for the last 4 years. Ben and his family then came and joined us for lunch, which was really nice. I also went out to join the youth group during the service and shared a little of my story and our plans for youth in the future. Dave and Becky have done an amazing job over the last 18 months or so with that group.

    Sabbatical​ - As part of talking about my sabbatical next term, on Sunday I shared with the church four key values and four convictions that have been very much at the heart of Beacon. A couple of people said they found them helpful, so I have repeated them here:

    Beacon key values:

    A church that is...

    Grace-filled (attitude)

    Christ-centred (unity)

    Spirit-led (approach)

    God-honouring (motivation)

    Our key convictions...

    Eph 2 - peace through the gospel

    Eph 3 - it's through the church

    Eph 4 - apostles and prophets for the building up of the body

    Eph 5 - husbands and wives (God's design for marriage)

    Hylton update ​- Pauline and I have been doing bits of Christmas shopping. She also went to Bath (yes Bath) on Saturday to the Christmas Market there with a couple of friends. Yasmin continues to have bits of work, but has also got a couple of interviews lined up over the next week or so. Please pray she gets a job for the new year. We are still working out the personal plans for my sabbatical, now we have got things in place for the church. I will outline these over the next couple of weeks.

    Dates

    13th Dec​ - Foodbank Carol Service 1pm St Paul’s Ferndale Rd

    18th Dec​ - Christmas Carol Service 5pm featuring the Richard Atkins Primary School Choir

    8th Jan 2017 ​- first service in 2017. [There will be no services on either 25th Dec or 1st Jan.]

  • Foodbank Christmas Carol Service

    Foodbank Christmas Carol Service

    You are invited to join our foodbank staff and clients for a Christmas Carol Service on Tuesday, 13th December. There will be Christmas food and drinks from 12.30pm, followed by carols and a Christmas message at 1pm. We'd love to see you there.

  • Beacon Update

    21st Nov 2016

    Living in the light of eternity - Part 3

    ​"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out ​ for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3

    One of the reasons Jesus went forward as resolutely as he did and endured the scorn and shame of the cross alongside the pain of separation from his Father was this: for the joy set before him, Jesus saw the other side of the shame and pain to the joy! Sometimes we struggle to endure because we don’t understand why, yet Jesus was not given a reason in Gethsemane as to why the cross. He faced its reality, not always clear as to 'why this way?' But he knew his obedience and sacrifice would lead to glory and joy.

    Can I encourage you not to get stuck behind 'why?' Rather focus on the joy to come. We are encouraged to consider Jesus as a way of keeping us from not growing weary and losing heart ie not giving up or giving in. Will you consider him and allow his example to keep you going?

    Last week​ - our community groups didn’t meet as we came together to pray for the baptisms we had on Sunday and also our Christmas Carol Service. Four people (Petra, Mark, Junior and Hannah), were baptised yesterday and we had lots of friends and family join us. It was a wonderful occasion for the church. I also caught up with Stu Gibbs last week; my friend who leads Emmanuel Church, Greenwich. We also borrowed their baptism pool. Stuart and Livy are just about to start fostering and are waiting for their first placement child.

    Sabbatical​ - next Sunday I am hoping to announce how we plan to set things up during the time I am away. My going really does leave space for others to rise and I am trusting God that he will bring people through. My last planned working day will be 23rd Dec.

    Hylton update ​- Happy birthday Yasmin! Yas is 23 today. We are so very proud and encouraged by her life and faith. We continue to pray God’s blessing and favour upon her as she seeks to make a new life for herself in Blackpool. Rhianna is learning some great leadership lessons as she captains her uni badminton team. Pauline has been ill this last week, this included a few days off sick. Daisy has been busy, going to her tutoring workshop and picking up Leah from nursery. In case you didn’t know we have had to scrap our car the Citroen Synergie. It packed up on Pauline a couple of weeks ago and the garage we have been using for the last few years suggested we scrap it! That car has done some miles, 140,000+ and brings back many memories!

    Dates

    4th Dec ​- Guest Speaker Rev Ben Goodyear

    18th Dec​ - Christmas Carol Service 5pm featuring the Richard Atkins Primary School Choir

podcast

Subscribe to our podcast via iTunes