TRIBUTES have been paid to a much loved church minister from Romsey. 

Jonathan Francis Beer, who was born on May 11, 1961 in Lyneham, Calne, Wiltshire died at home on May 10, 2022. 

Kyria Richardson writes: “He was to move several times before coming to live in Romsey at the start of his second career in 2017. 

“In early days as a farmer’s son, he had moved with his family, attending Montgomery of Alamein, now Kings School in Winchester.

“From 1981 he was employed for many years by IBM in Hursley, travelling for work within Britain, but later as widely as Connecticut in the US and Budapest in Hungary.

“Jonathan always made it abundantly clear that for him there was no place like home, which meant wherever he travelled he was always impatient to get back to where his wife Rebecca and his boys were living, and later, loved the cottage in Corfe where he and Rebecca made their hideaway from the pressures of work and life in the Manse. 

“The family meant everything to him, and when he took over our church, Romsey Baptist Church in 2017, he said regularly ‘We are not just church - We are family’.

“From an early age his faith in God was all important. He always said that he gave his life to the Lord Jesus, his Saviour, as a little boy, kneeling at his bedside and praying for God’s blessing on his life. As he gathered up life experiences and faced challenges, including the one of his cancer diagnosis, he never wavered from that commitment.

“Whether in America, or later living in Southampton, Jonathan and Rebecca found churches where they could make a difference and be involved in home groups. 

“It was no surprise that Jonathan reached the point where he felt a calling to undertake a second career and when he was invited to become Minister of RBC he ended his time at IBM, and travelled one day each week to Regents College to gain a degree in Theology. 

“Meantime he was working a full week, preparing sermons, supporting those in need, whether through illness, isolation, or events such as weddings. In addition he was a very active member of the Churches Together in Romsey group.

“He was such a well known and well loved figure around Romsey and was an inspiration to many people.

“Every tribute made to Jonathan in the wonderful service celebrating his life which took place in Romsey Abbey on Thursday, June 16 pointed to his wonderful care for others in every area of society, to his inspiring exposition of the Bible and to his love and service to God through Jesus Christ who he looked forward with certainty to meet.

"He is seen here with his wife, Rebecca, and is remembered fondly by James, Stephen, and their lovely grandchildren who adored their ‘grandpops’. All played a major role in Jonathan’s fruitful,successful life of loyalty, service and love."