Holy Cross Church parishioners and townspeople gathered at the Victoria Pleasure Ground, Uckfield, on Saturday (May 23) evening for a candlelit vigil in memory of Father Martin Onions.
Fr Onions, the Rector of Uckfield, died on Friday morning, aged 51.
A short service was led by the Archdeacon of Hastings, the Ven Philip Jones, assisted by the Rev Christian Mitchell, known to parishioners as Father Mitch.
Uckfield Town Mayor, Cllr Louise Eastwood, was among about 150 people at the vigil.
The church had planned to hold a fun evening at the pleasure ground on Saturday evening with games and activities for all the family.
This was cancelled but the lighting on the beacon, which was prepared by members of the town’s bonfire society, went ahead as planned.
The lighted beacon celebrated the launch of the Diocesan Strategy.
The Uckfield beacon was one of a chain across the Diocese of Chichester as churches prepared to celebrate the flames of Pentecost and the birthday of the Church today (May 24).
Christians celebrated the moment when the Holy Spirit came upon the church, shortly after the Ascension of Jesus.
The lighting of the beacons also marked the launch of a diocesan-wide strategy as Anglican churches in the Diocese of Chichester step up their outreach to the local communities they serve.
The Bishop of Lewes, the Rt Rev Richard Jackson, was at Holy Cross Church on Sunday to support the family of Fr Onions and the community.
A short video of the vigil is below: