Monday, 2 January 2012

Blessings In Bacton

Monday being a Bank Holiday, we packed a picnic and headed to the coast [never knowing when we will see the sea again it seemed a good idea] We stopped at Overstrand and enjoyed a coffee in the White Horse pub. We did not see John Major, although that’s his ‘local’. Then we drove on to Bacton. This sleepy little seaside spot is most famous for the Gas Terminal

gas terminal

…but our memories relate to this place – the Baptist Church

old chapel

Back in 1983 and 1984 we stayed here. Bob was a penniless student, so my Dad arranged for us to stay in the Manse along with another student family.

The Manse is the cottage adjoining the back of the chapel. The generous folk at the church allowed us to stay for free if Bob and his friend conducted the Sunday services! We were so grateful to them – we had two fabulous holidays there.

Thirty years later, we speculated whether the church was standing, demolished, or turned into a house or shop or something. But the building was still there. We parked outside and peeped through the window. A smiling face beckoned us inside! Once inside, we were thrilled to find a crowd of friendly people busily tiding up Christmas decorations – packing and sweeping, and filling rubbish bags. We explained why we were being nosey – and they told us who they were. The membership of the chapel had dwindled to almost nothing – and then everything changed…The building is now the home of the Beacon Community Church.This church [website here] was planted here in March 2009, and is a growing, lively congregation.

We were offered tea and biscuits and a guided tour. Here is the upstairs room which was our holiday bedroom all those years ago

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Now it is equipped as a prayer room. I spent a quiet moment thanking the Lord for all He has done, for us, and for this place in the past three decades.

The downstairs rooms have been renovated beautifully as kitchen, loos, and meeting rooms.

DSCF3038The decoration of the chapel where Bob preached is still ongoing. The pulpit and pews have gone, bright paintwork gives everything a much lighter feel. A screen and data projector and mixing desk give the facilities for multi-media stuff.

They have done all this work themselves. Whilst we were there, Ian was up a ladder painting the front of the balcony.

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Here are the other friends we met – June and her daughter Charlotte, and Russell and Chris. [you can tell it is a ‘proper’ church hall, spot the mugs and tea urn inside the hatch]

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DSCF3041Bob and I were both so moved by their story – and we stood with them all in the Chapel, and prayed for them, and the work they are doing in this little community. God bless Bacton!

It was a fabulous way to end our Cornerstones Holiday and begin a New Year. Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow…

7 comments:

  1. Hi

    I have never commented before, but I just love your blog.

    We go on holiday to Overstrand every year and have been to Bacton.

    It's funny the other week you mentioned Ashby and we live not far from there.

    It's a small world (I'm sorry if I sound like a stalker!!!!!).

    Donna

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  2. What a wonderful story Angela.

    Sft x

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  3. Wow, what a story and how fantastic for both you and them.

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  4. I've been abit of a lurker, but I'm compelled to say Thank you for the time that you spend writing your blog. It shows a warm loving lady who spreads her warmth to those she touches (reaching even down here to New Zealand)
    Regards
    Kiwi Fi

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  5. Dear everyone - [stalkers and lurkers included] thanks for the kind words

    Hope your new year is full of blessings too

    [and Donna, DO say 'Hi!' if you ever see me around]

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  6. How wonderful that the church is still there and you were able to look around.x

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