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.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Music, worship, and a Canon!

Sunday lunch time on our verandah, and back from a 6 hour stint in church, of 3 consecutive services. I have been involved in helping start a new - first - English service in the Cathedral. Today was the second week and I was preaching.  This is the first English worship in the Diocese and people seem excited about it. We have had a congregation of 70 or so (and a few old ladies who have got the time of the Swahili service wrong and look very confused!). The picture is of Alastair practising on Saturday with the beginnings of a music group  - bringing back many memories of Beacon and St Barnabas. Music groups the world over seem very similar, with lots of discussion of rhythm, keys etc and eventually a very good sound!
Today was special too as I have been appointed as a member of the College of Canons of Gloucester, an unexpected and very honouring appointment by Bishop Michael. The official announcement was made  here today - to coincide with that in Gloucester and I celebrated communion : again a first for me to do so in Swahili in the Cathedral. I will be installed in Gloucester Cathedral on July 10th (to which all are welcome) - but today I was presented with a live chicken as my congratulations from the congregation!!
Time now for an afternoon snooze, then a walk over the hills, and to get ready for a busy coming week with college students returning and 4 hospitals to visit for Alastair.

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