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Fire in church

18 December 2007

by Margaret Duggan

THE VICAR, the Revd Ken Batt, was so impressed with the centenary celebrations of the Scout movement around the world that he suggested that the Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts of his own parish, the 1st Bournemouth in the diocese of Winchester, should have their own celebration service.

So Holy Epiphany, Bournemouth, was transformed into a campsite for the evening. Green branches around the doors and on both sides of the chancel gave a rural atmosphere. A tent was erected in the sanctuary, along with a flagpole and a spectacular camp fire (above). The scene was set off with two flower arrangements in red and apricot, the 1st Bournemouth colours.

Mr Batt tells me that the combined membership of Holy Epiphany’s Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts is about 75, and among the 200 people who came to the service were many past members going back to the foundation of the troop in 1945. Their first leader, Dr Jim Fisher, came clad in his original camp blanket of Balmoral tartan — a tartan designed by his grandfather for Queen Victoria.

After an evening of hymns, prayers, and campfire songs, everyone adjourned to the church hall for food and drink, surrounded by photographs of Holy Epiphany’s Scouting history.

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