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The Beacon Churches Photo Gallery 2011

The photo gallery comprises slideshows of photos taken at church events and other occasions. Below is a list of slideshows for the selected year. Please select any slideshow to view the slides. To see slideshows for a different year, click on that year.

Christmas Card entries 2011

Christmas Card entries 2011

Entries for the 2011 Beacon Parish Christmas Card submitted by students at St Margaret's School.

New York 9/11 Anniversary Concert

New York 9/11 Anniversary Concert

To be able to perform a choral work with the Composer conducting is a thrill.  To perform a choral work with the Composer conducting at the Lincoln Centre in New York as part of the 9/11 tenth anniversary Memorial weekend was the opportunity of a lifetime.  The combined efforts of The Really Big Chorus (UK) and Distinguished Concerts International New York (US) made this possible. So it was that three divas (well sopranos really) left London on a cool, sunny September morning to arrive in New York later that afternoon to a blazing hot, late summer day. 

We were a choir of 320 voices all from different parts of the UK.  We had an excellent Director Jonathon Griffiths, Principal Conductor of DCINY, who told us that we would be performing in front of an audience of almost 2700 in the Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Centre, and that Jessye Norman would be present to read the poem from a new work by Karl Jenkins For the Fallen. Wow!!  The next day was Sunday 9/11 and down at Ground Zero the President and other dignitaries had gathered to remember all those who had lost their lives.

We had to make our way to the Lincoln Centre for a morning rehearsal with the orchestra and soloists.  We passed a group of Policeman at Columbus Circle making their preparations and then a large group of people outside the main entrance to the Lincoln Centre with arms outstretched skywards during their minute’s silence.  

Rehearsal over we had time to go back to our hotel to change and then grab a cab to take us back for the performance.   As we filed our way onto the stage and under the hot lights our moment had arrived. We were nervous and excited!  Just had to hope and pray that we remembered all those difficult bits!  So it began. The first work seemed to go well and Jessye Norman was amazing. On to The Armed Man.  The audience seemed to love it and we received a standing ovation.

A reception was held for us at Rosie O’Grady’s with an all you could eat and drink, carvery buffet.  It was a chance to unwind, meet other members of the choir and discuss how the concert went.  Karl Jenkins popped in briefly.  Later that night we took a tour bus which enabled us to see the two beams of light that represented the twin towers at Ground Zero. 

We had decided to stay on for two and half extra days in New York.  These were spent sightseeing i.e. the Rockefeller Building, St Patricks Cathedral, the intimate Actors’ Church, Empire State Building (to the top of course), Broadway, The Guggenheim, Central Park, the Museum of Modern Art.  

On our final day we had tickets to visit the Ground Zero Memorial.  The area is still a massive building site with seven new buildings being constructed including a transportation hub.  To enter the Memorial Garden is to enter an oasis of peace and tranquillity.  It was our intention to look for a specific name and one of the guides using a ‘tablet’ tapped in the name and immediately told us where we would find our name.  Two pools had been constructed for the actual memorial, each one following the footprint of the South Tower and North Tower.  The names of all those who lost their lives in each tower are carved in bronze around the four sides of each pool.   Water cascades down to a level where it moves slowly along then falls into a large opening and disappears - a metaphor for so many things. 

We found our name on the North Pool, and made three rubbings for his family.  We too left something for our name - four large silk Poppies that we had brought with us, which stood out against the dark bronze.  We left the Memorial feeling greatly moved and felt that the City had constructed something quite beautiful out of the death and chaos that was 9/11.   

We departed from New York that night filled with so many abiding memories, the kindness of New Yorkers, delicious food, fiercely hot late summer days, amazing views from the Empire State, the neon of Times Square and shopping!! New York – Rock On!  We will return! 

Cricket Fun 6-a-side Day 2011

Cricket Fun 6-a-side Day 2011

For the second year we all gathered for this year’s Cricket fun day on Sunday 18th September at the Ditchling Recreation Ground. Despite the rather gloomy weather forecasts leading up to the day, the weather stayed mainly fine (even a few glimpses of the sun) with just a few drops of rain which failed to dampen or stop the cricket. This year we had 6 teams representing the three villages playing on a knock-out basis (as before) in a light hearted but sporting fashion, with each team playing at least two matches. Finally we were down to just two teams for the final clash; being a ‘highly skilled’ Vicar’s Invitation team against a well organised Ditchling CC team. Ultimate victory after a closely fought tactical match went to the Vicar’s Invitation team.

Father David gave a brief speech thanking everybody who had contributed to the successful and enjoyable day, and the Trophy was presented to the winning team’s captain. A prize for the best player during the Tournament was also presented. Again all those who took part or attended had a very enjoyable afternoon of fun, banter and fellowship.

During the afternoon the ladies of the Events Committee (and others) did a wonderful job in supplying delicious scones and cakes for the teams, to sustain them, and the many spectators. We would also like to thank the Cricket Club for the use of their facilities, and various people who contributed their personal kit to keep all the players well protected.

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, May 2011

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, May 2011

Very early in the morning of Tuesday May 17th, 28 pilgrims set off from the Village Hall, led by Father David and Sally. Their destination was the Holy Land. Very late in the evening of Thursday May 26th, those same 28 pilgrims arrived back in Ditchling, after ten days of intensive and widely varied experience.

Photos by Simon Davey, John Willis and Mike Sewell

Royal Wedding Street Party, Ditchling

Royal Wedding Street Party, Ditchling

Photos of the Royal Wedding Street Party held in Ditchling on 29 April 2011.

Replastering St Margaret's Church

Replastering St Margaret's Church

View of the interior of St Margaret's Church taken in Janukary 2011 during work to remove the old plaster and re-plaster the walls of the church.