Correspondence of Rev John Beech and Joke Beech

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Correspondence (1951, 1955-1957) of the missionary Rev John Beech (Methodist Missionary Society) and Joke [Johanne] Beech (wife of Rev John Beech). These include five letters (1955-1957) from Rev John Beech (two with accompanying messages by Joke Beech), whilst working in Kumasi, Gold Coast [Ghana], sent to John Beech's parents in England. These letters primarily cover personal matters, including Joke Beech's pregnancy and the birth of the couple's son, family matters, and life in Ghana. However, the letters also touch upon Rev Beech's educational missionary work in Kumasi and wider political developments in the Gold Coast [Ghana] preceding and following Independence. There is also a letter (1951) from John Beech to his parents, whilst a student at Handsworth College, Birmingham; and a letter (1955) from Elizabeth Morrow, Methodist missionary in Ghana, sent to John Beech's parents, giving an account of Beech's ordination at the Methodist Synod, Cape Coast, Gold Coast.

Administrative / Biographical History

Rev John Beech was born in Biddulph Moor, Staffordshire on 29th July 1926. His parents were Hezekiah Beech & Eliza Beech. He worked as an accounts clerk in a local mine before training as a Methodist minister. He studied at Wishaw and Handworth College, Birmingham before ordination. He was appointed as a missionary with the Methodist Missionary Society (MMS) to the Gold Coast [Ghana] in 1955. He was stationed as a lecturer at the Wesley College, Kumasi and worked as a chaplain to students at the Kumasi Government Agricultural College; Kumasi College of Technology [later Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology] and various secondary schools and colleges in Kumasi, Ashanti region. He married Joke [Johanne] Johnges in Congleton, England on 7th April 1956. He returned to England in 1958, working as a minister in West Bromwich (Wesley) circuit. He then returned to the Methodist Missionary Society to work as MMS Missionary Education Secretary; YMA Secretary; and Associate Editor of the 'Kingdom Overseas' magazine. He later ministered in the London Mission (North and Central) and Midsomer Norton circuits. He died on 26th February 2012.

Arrangement

Chronological

Conditions Governing Access

Open

Acquisition Information

Donated to SOAS Library by Margaret Beard (neice) in March 2015.

Conditions Governing Use

Private study only. For publication or broadcast please refer to Archivist

Copyright held by SOAS, University of London

Accruals

Not expected

Related Material

SOAS Library holds the Methodist Missionary Society archive, 1691-2013 [Ref: MMS]. A portrait (1950s) of Rev John Beech is available in the Methodist Missionary Society archive, file 'Portraits from the Gold Coast [Ghana]' [Ref. MMS/06/20/03/12]

Geographical Names