Almost 300 people including Bishop Richard Hawkins and many clergy gathered at St Mary's parish church, where extra seating was brought in, for the funeral service of Revd. Malcolm Beal which was conducted by Revd David Sherwood. Family and friends had travelled from as far afield as Canada and the Channel islands to attend the service. Malcolm had passed away following a long illness.
He was a much loved and respected member of the clergy and community who had lived in the village for almost 14 years. Although retired Malcolm was always available for anyone in need and has left his mark on the lives of countless people, not only in the Culm Valley, but across the globe. He will be greatly missed by all who had experienced his generous, gentle, loving Christian manner.
Malcolm was ordained in Bath and Wells Cathedral in 1959 and served as Curate in the Keynsham and Liverpool areas. In 1965 he and his family moved to Uganda where he worked as a teacher and chaplain. Despite a life that was not always easy, particularly due to political upheaval, Malcolm formed a love for the country which never left him and drew him back for visits many times. Returning from Africa Malcolm served as Vicar to a church in the Coventry Diocese before moving to a church in Jersey where he and his wife lived until his retirement.
As a sign of the great affection Malcolm held in the hearts of many a memorial thanksgiving service was held in Jersey at the same time as the one at St Mary's, Hemyock.