It is with extremely heavy hearts that we announce the passing of John Potter – a revered and cherished figure among the scouting community and an honourable man admired around Beckenham and beyond. John died peacefully at Lewisham Hospital, this morning, in the company of some of those close to him. His wisdom, kindness, and unwavering dedication to scouting and others will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him over his many years of selfless exploits.

John was an integral part of The Fifth, having joined in 1969, becoming Scout Leader in 1970. John would soon take on a multitude of other roles within The Fifth, as caretaker, jumble sale organiser, builder, quartermaster, friend, mentor, role model, father figure and much more.

In his 55 years with the group, he more than doubled the size of our hut with his bare hands, used his annual leave year after year solely for scouting, raised tens of thousands of pounds through jumble sales, waste paper collections, rags and scrap metal and had been at the scout hut almost every day for as long as any of us can remember. Many of the scouts assumed he lived there.

In 2007 John was a recipient of the Mayor of Bromley’s Award for Outstanding Service, whilst in 2014 John was awarded The Silver Wolf, the highest award made by The Scout Association for services of the most exceptional character.

He was a good man who dedicated his life to others,

In accordance with John’s wishes, has been cremated at a private service in Beckenham, with no attendees.

Details of a service to celebrate his life are below.

John B Potter
1936 – 2024
Gone Home.

Celebration of Life

A celebration of John’s very full life will take place on 6th April,

We hope many of you will be able to come and would be grateful if you could pass on this message and the RSVP.  Given John’s profound impact on many people over the years – both young and old – we are expecting a large turnout. If you have any questions then please do get in touch.
Dress code: informal / non-mourning / smart casual, 5th scarves would be appropriate for those that have them.  Uniform of course is also welcome.
Watch Online:  the service should be available online at
Please do kindly complete the RSVP so we have a better indication of numbers:
St Peter and St Pauls Bromley
Timings on April 6th
  • 12:30 onwards – Tea biscuits and Eccles cakes.
  • 13:30 -14:30 – Main service
  • 15:00 onwards –

    After the service, everybody is welcome to continue on to our Scout Hut in the grounds of Bishop Challoner school. Some parking on site will be available but we would like to preserve some spaces for our more elderly guests please.

    Afternoon tea, sandwiches and cake will be provided with lots of opportunity to raise a mug to John and reminisce together as he so loved to do.

  • 18:00 onwards for beers and Boomalackas at The Jolly Woodman or The Chancery (formerly The Oakhill Tavern)
Numbers will need to be estimated so please respond to the Google form above. Catering tbc.
We hope to run a shuttle service from the hut up to the church, otherwise is very walkable. 
There are about 30 parking spaces at the Church itself and we have requested from Bromley council permission to open up the overflow parking as well behind the Church.
The Hill multi storey car park is now  open again.
If you exit the car park on foot to the right, you should find yourselves on Edison Road, follow that to the end of the road and then at 10 O’Clock you will see the church. ( A three minute walk in total ).


The charities below were close to JP’s heart.