Somebody left a prayer request on our intercessions board recently which included the words “Journalism is not a job: it is a mission.” Those words so well describe Richard Beeston, the fearless and indefatigable foreign correspondent for the Times whose life we celebrate today.
Richard began his career in journalism after school, and he was soon overseas working for the Financial Mail in Johannesburg, and then for The Daily Star in Beirut. Having built his reputation he joined the Times, and reported on many of the conflicts and upheavals of the past twenty years, including Chechnya, Iraq, Lebanon and most recently Syria.
Richard was a journalist who walked in the footsteps of legendary correspondents, especially his hero William Howard Russell, the Times correspondent who reported from the Crimea. He was a man with a mission, an old fashioned adventurer whose career was cruelly cut short by cancer, which he fought courageously to the end, lovingly supported by Natasha.
We remember today a great foreign editor but above all a truly wonderful human being, and in heartfelt thanksgiving we commend him to the love of Almighty God.
Sam Kiley read Matthew 5: 1-10
5 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Georgia Beeston read from The Noble Nature by Ben Johnson
IT is not growing like a tree
In bulk, doth make Man better be;
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere:
A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night—
It was the plant and flower of Light
In small proportions we just beauties see;
And in short measures life may perfect be.
Dan Green read from King Solomon’s Mines by H Rider Haggard
Yet man dies not whilst the world, at once his mother and his monument, remains. His name is lost, indeed, but the breath he breathed still stirs the pine-tops on the mountains, the sound of the words he spoke yet echoes on through space; the thoughts his brain gave birth to we have inherited to-day; his passions are our cause of life; the joys and sorrows that he knew are our familiar friends – the end from which he fled aghast will surely overtake us also! Truly the universe is full of ghosts, not sheeted churchyard spectres, but the inextinguishable elements of individual life, which having once been, can never die, though they blend and change, and change again for ever.
John Witherow read from The Mother Of All Battles by Richard Beeston
The choir & organist of St Bride’s performed the following anthems and songs: