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 July 2013


Wednesday was a  fabulous occasion in Gloucester Cathedaral. Thank you to everyone who came and supported - being amongst so many friends was very special. I will remain with wonderful memories of the promises I made, the laying on of hands and blessing, the connection with tradition and yet awareness of God with us today, and the music and prayers surrounding it all.
There are various jokes about the wording : "Canonisation" implies I'm dead and becoming a saint, neither of which are true! I was officially "collated" and "installed" - which these days sounds more to do with paper clips and electric cable! I now have my own stall - number 4 - hence the "installation".
I reflected on the enormous contrast between the worship on Wednesday and the worship we have become used to in Kasulu, and yet aware that this is part of the wonder and diversity of the Kingdom of God and thankful for the privilege we have of being part of both.
Now in Scotland helping Pete and Cat prepare last minute things for the wedding.

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