Helen and Alastair - some background

Helen and Alastair - some background : We have always hoped to return to Africa once more before we're too old (perhaps we already are!). Alastair first went to Africa in 1974 as a junior doctor, working for the Church of Scotland in a small hospital in Transkei, South Africa. I met Alastair there in 1982, were married in 1984 and continued in Transkei until 1988. From there we went to Kenya, as employees of the Church of Scotland, where Alastair ran Chogoria Hospital. We left in 1995, with Alec, Peter and Becky to establish the children's schooling and our work in Britain. Here Alastair found himself as consultant in Breast cancer surgery, and Helen initially trained and worked as a GP before "evolving" to full time ordained ministry. Alec is now married to Ruth, and they have baby Zach; Pete is in his final year of medicine in Edinburgh, and Becky half way through nurse training in Oxford.

The Diocese of Western Tanganyika is a partner of Gloucester diocese. The plan is for Helen to join the teaching staff of the Bible College, teaching those preparing for ministry. Alastair will teach English to the students at the college, as well as doing some surgery at the church-run hospitals, and helping with project management in the Diocese.
We will keep you updated on our plans over the next few months and will greatly value your prayer support. Our current prayer requests - and thanks to God of course - will be posted on the side bar.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Leaving today

Our do on Wednesday at church was wonderful. Thank you to everyone : all 270 ish of you - who were there, and to Bishop Michael for speaking so graciously about why we're doing this.
Since then it has been a rather horrid 48 hours of finally packing the house, and trying to organise the last bits of our 4 suitcases (and sometimes getting in a  bad muddle). We're now at Alec and Ruth's and have a lovely evening with Becky, and Pete and Cat here as well, and quite a good sleep.
The next stage is hugely daunting and I feel very anxious... we've no work permits still despite various phone calls this week; and although we've done everything possible to get the car paper work organised it apparently could still take weeks or months to get it through. So we just feel that we're heading into a big, rather scary unknown, and not sure how much faith we really have.


  1. Aww no I really feel for you both - I'll keep praying for you. Glad you've a nice evening to look forward too. Safe flight tomorrow. Sarah Skitt xxx

  2. Our thoughts and prayers are with you both, especially through this incredibly difficult early stage of the move. My continued prayer is that the Lord gives you the strength to cope. (I learnt that prayer from you, remember the photocopier incident?)


    James Turk

  3. thanks James - the photocopier prayer is great - I leep using it!! For those who didn't hear the sermon the prayer goes ; Dear Lord please fix this .... photocopier, and if not give me the patience to cope.

  4. So sorry about all the problems you are facing. We will be upholding you in prayer.
    I so enjoyed seeing you and the family at the do on Wednesday and had some lovely chats with Eddie, Liz, Richard,Becky and your lady vicar friend. Thank you so much for inviting me. Love Jane and family