August Team Letter -The Scripture Union Beach Mission 2016

Posted on by Tania Birtwistle


This month heralds the arrival of the Beach Mission in Southwold.  I noticed in the July magazine this year that the Mission needs more volunteers.  It must be difficult in today’s world to recruit enough selfless young Christians willing and able to give their time to this invaluable work.  So many students need to have holiday jobs to finance their studies.


Over many years I have watched the Mission come and go – always bringing the message of the love of God to us on the beach front at Southwold, with music and drama, putting the message over in the most imaginative way.


When I was a child, a huge mound was created out of sand and shingle to form a stage cum pulpit, which dominated the beach for weeks.  In the periods between Mission services we played on the mound – and continued to play on it after the Mission had finished, until we (and the tides) had worn it down.  Then it was gone until the next summer, when the Mission team would set about building yet another great mound.


In later years we watched our own children carry on this tradition, and we have photographs of the next generation on the Beach Mission mound.  My memory tells me that it used to be much nearer to the lighthouse than it is now.


Years ago, the Mission team would take up residence at Eversley School; more recently they have been based in tents on the common, as did the Duke of York’s pre-war Boys’ Camps.


As a teenager, I joined in many of the activities organized by the young and committed Christians of the Beach Mission.  It was a wonderful way of meeting other young people on holiday here in Southwold.  It was also well supported by local children, some of whom formed lasting friendships with the holidaymakers.  There were separate programmes for the various age groups, and the witness of these lively and inspirational young Mission leaders had a big impact on my life.


When I had my own children, I encourage them to listen to what was being said at services, and to join in what the Beach Mission had to offer. I was not always successful in this, but they did benefit from the mission being here. I would urge all parents and grandparents to offer their charges the gift of an opportunity to hear the Christian message of love from the Mission.  How can they choose what to believe if they don’t know what the Christian message is for them?


Wishing God’s Blessing on the Beach Mission and on all those who join in the activities offered by the Scripture Union in this very special Ministry.


Marina Turvill Smith