There are three churches in the Beacon Parish, St Margaret's, Ditchling; St Martin's, Westmeston and Streat Church. The three churches became one Parish in October 2007. The Beacon Parish is in the Deanery of Hurst, the Archdeaconry of Horsham and the Diocese of Chichester.
Meet the Team
Reverend David Wallis is the Vicar of the three churches of the Beacon Parish.
Churchwarden, St Margaret's
Keith is married to Maralyn and they have lived in Ditchling since 1984. They have 3 daughters and 9 grandchildren. Keith is a retired Consultant Physician and works part-time as a medical member of HM Courts and Tribunals Service.
Keith and Maralyn retain their strong links with the Christian Medical College and Hospital in Ludhiana, India which is supported by the Beacon Parish.
Churchwarden, St Margaret's
Tony is married to Colyeen and has lived in the area since 1985. They have two daughters, 3 grandchildren and a great grandson.
Tony is retired and started his working life in the Royal Air Force as an avionics engineer. Followed by working for an international helicopter company, finishing as a senior manager. He is currently involved with the local branch of the Royal British Legion.
Churchwarden, St Martin's
I have lived in Westmeston since 1961 so all my life (60yrs in 2021), my family moved into Rectory Cottage in 1942 during World War II. My Grandad was employed by Mr Baines as the herdsman and gardener at the Old Rectory. He was verger at St Martins church for many years, my Gran sang in the choir, was a member of the Mothers Union, sat on the PCC, she was a very active person in the village.
All my family have strong Christian links with St Martins. My Mother Doreen was on the PCC, became Churchwarden for 17 years and when she passed away I took on the role of Churchwarden at St Martin’s in 2015. This now the Beacon Parish (a merger of St Margaret’s Ditchling, St Martin’s Westmeston and Streat Church).
I went to St Margaret’s school which is now the well-known Ditchling Museum. My secondary education took place at Lewes Priory. After which I served an apprenticeship as a baker which was my career for 41 yrs.
I am also a Trustee of the Westmeston Parish Hall and together with other Trustees and village residents we celebrated the opening of the new Parish Hall on the 1st January 2000 which is a well used community venue.
Churchwarden, St Martin's
Tessa's family have lived in Streat and Westmeston since the 1920s. She moved to the village from London and East Chiltington in 2005 to the family home. Tessa retired at the end of 2016 having worked for the last 36 years for a consulting company in London.
Her husband, Michael, runs his business from home. She enjoys walking her dogs and gardening. She is a Trustee/Secretary of Westmeston Parish Hall and Parish Councillor of Westmeston.
Tel: 01273 843 581
Churchwarden, Streat Church
I am a Londoner, my parents moved family home to Sussex in 1974, I lived in Brighton and Australia (then London) again moving to Streat and Westmeston in 2001. Our house is in Streat, The garden is in Westmeston – so I can jump into whichever Parish takes my fancy as long as it’s not raining – Streat when its wet, Westmeston in very sunny weather with Carole.
We have 3 children aged 25, 23, 16. (BTW - Currently a Governor of Great Walstead School, Linfield, but about to retire). I help run Sussex IVF centre, Agora Clinic with my wife Carole plus my building company.
I am the churchwarden of Streat and serve on the Fabric committee.
I am a Sussex woman, born and bred, though, being married to Tony, an RAF man, I have also lived in several other interesting places, including Kenya.
I am a life-long practicing Christian and studied to become a Licenced Reader in the Church of England.
I served at St Andrew’s Burgess Hill for 17 years before transferring to the Beacon Parish in 2009.
Parish Youth Worker
Our Youth Worker is Gary Pickett. Gary leads our YODAH group as well as overseeing Little Beacons and Junior Church. YODAH is a joint venture with the Parish of Clayton with Keymer. Gary joined us in March 2017 and is really enjoying building our youth programmes.
Gary is responsible for our work with young people in the range of Y1-Y11. He shares his time between this parish and the neighbouring Keymer & Clayton Parish. Gary's role has been funded with help from The Diocese of Chichester Mission Fund.
Gary was formerly a retail manager and had always volunteered as a youth leader, Gary grew up within the Boys' Brigade from the age of three and is still involved in the BB in his spare time.
Gary has a heart for seeing young people grow and to be the best they can, Gary helps young people grow in their faith and self confidence.
In his spare time Gary enjoys running voluntary youth groups, kayaking, spending time with his Godson's and he likes to organise and go on Mission trips to Uganda.
Mark has been Parish Treasurer for 10 years. He is a geologist, born in Antigua, married to Judy who he met at university in 1960. He has worked in ten different countries, living together abroad for more than thirty years with Shell.
On return to the UK in 1994 he has worked in the oil and mining industry and been involved as a director in several companies. Mark has been involved in the United Nations Global Compact since its inception in 2000.
They have four children and thirteen grandchildren, live in Spatham Lane and enjoy sailing. Judy is a Quaker. They were married in St Cosmos and St Damian in Hassocks, where Judy’s parents lived.
My family and I came to Streat 32 years ago, and for many of those years I have been involved with the Church, becoming Bookkeeper for
The Beacon Parish in 2013.
I am also on the Royal British Legion Ditchling and Branch committee.
Hello - I am the PCC Secretary as well as helping Rev David Wallis in the Parish Office. Although the Parish Office is closed at present I am able to work from home.
If you contact the Parish Office it is usually me who will respond to you in the first instance.
My family have been in the Parish since 1956 when we first moved from Hove to Hayleigh Farm. I am also the RBL Ditchling & District Branch Secretary and Poppy Appeal Organiser. Margaret Bovill