The Spiritualist Church in Enfield had its roots in a Victorian house in Carterhatch Lane Enfield, in the days when it was a country lane.
Mr. Lewis, a Local Chemist was a gifted Trance Medium and with his wife started meetings in their home in the early 1900’s. As the attendance grew, an unused garage in their garden was refurbished sufficiently to be come their first Church and Healing Centre. This in time was replaced by a more substantial building and an Annexe that is very much used to this day.
Their house still stands. It was from here that came the dream of Mrs. Lewis to build a memorial to her late husband, and give people of Enfield a permanent place where they could benefit from the knowledge of Spiritualism that the Church would provide in decades to come. What was part of their garden and orchard became the site for such a dream to come to fruition, and the Beacon of Light Spiritualist Church was born.
The main body of the Church was opened in October 1937 with a further side addition being completed in 1958, The Church; with a growing, loyal band of helpers. played an important part in the community throughout the Second World War.
When Mrs. Lewis passed to Spirit in 1950, the serving committee were left with a huge dilemma. Although she willed the Church to the Committee, she left her estate to her son Norman Lewis. He was a well known travel writer of his day, which meant that the building was also his. Mr. Lewis was not minded to fulfil his mother’s wishes for the Church to continue, but was prepared to sell the building.
Although the Church accounts were in credit, the asking price of £1,000 was beyond the ability of the committee to fund. The Church had up until that time been affiliated to The Greater World Association, but as they had no building fund, were unable to help. So in order not to lose this valuable asset to Spiritualism the Beacon of Light became a member of the Spiritualist National Union (SNU).
On receipt of a deposit from the Church to their Building Fund, the SNU was able to finance the purchase of the building. The Beacon of Light became a Church ‘in trust’ to the SNU. To the credit of the members all those years ago, they worked hard to raise sufficient funds to pay off the entire sum the SNU had provided for this purchase.
In the 81 years that The Beacon has been in existence, it has seen many people pass through its doors willing to serve on committee and support the day to day running of the Church. They have been mindful of their duty in conserving the income, which in this present day and age has allowed us to fund all that legislation now demands of a public building.
Apart from maintaining the decoration and carpeting of the Church and refurbishment of the Annexe, we had to install an electronic hymnal to replace the organists, emergency lighting and a hearing loop were next before we came to the ‘big build’. This was to see one of our toilets converted for disabled use and a ramp and safety barrier built along the full length of the Church. Also we had to provide access through our front doors for wheelchair users.
Today (from 2015-2019)
The Beacon continues to be affiliated with the SNU. New members are enrolled regularly. Presently an annual membership fee is £10.00 and £6.00 for senior citizens. We are proud to say that we have the opportunity of many visiting mediums and are able to host special events and one to one readings.
We are so fortunate to have the Annexe which is enjoyed by all members of the Church together with visitors. The Annexe provides space for refreshments and sales tables, meetings and animal healing. Now, with the new store room built inside we are able to clear away the tables and chairs and have a completely open space for those that may need to use it.
We are also fortunate to have a wonderful members library available. Whatever your stage of knowledge or development, there will be a book in there to further your learning. We also have a magazine table and bookstall for those who wish to purchase.
Update and upgrades have taken place in the past four years. These include a new controllable heating system, new lighting, internal decor changed dramatically together with a new book stall in the Lobby, new window curtains, new dividing central curtains, air conditioning, a revamp of the Annexe, new back doors and new external decoration. Also, we have yet again had to update the hymnal system to a more digitally friendly device together with a PA system and iPod for further music. We are presently agreeing on further upgrades regarding new front doors and new chairs if possible and, together with new and updated signs for the Church. You will be able to view the upgrades by photos in our Photo Gallery under ‘changes’.
Another improvement in the services we offer are mp3 recordings! It is now possible and with the permission of the visiting medium for our services to be voice recorded. If you wish to have a copy of your message (not the whole service) this can be arranged either by email, mobile phone apps or downloaded to a cd for collection.
We thank all the people who generously donate Raffle prizes, Sales Table items, tea, biscuits etc. These greatly help with the running costs of the Church and are very much appreciated.
Registered Charity Number from January 2015 No. 1160200
President: Linda Sharpe
Vice president: Simon Browne
Treasurer: Richard Martin
Secretary: Julie Georgiou
Snr Administrator: Carol Long
Mediums Secretary: Simon Browne