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.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014


Many people are asking about our plans for when we leave........... We have our flights home booked for 7th June. This gives me the opportunity to see my senior students through their final exams and attend their ordination. We will return to our house, 'Windycot' in Cranham. We're very excited about this as it will be over 7 years since we lived there, and we will enjoy being in the village community again. I've decided not to apply for a full time parish post again, but rather to have opportunity for teaching and other work around the Diocese, which will give us some flexibility and time for the family. Alastair is very ready to retire (again), and is looking forward to his music, woodwork and other interests.
A typical Saturday!
'Ha' tribal dancing
So we just have 3 months left. We have lots to do, and still feel very settled here. Our colleagues, friends and students are all asking us to stay longer, but although we will be sad to leave all the  people we have got to know so well, we're really looking forward to coming back.
College life, although constant hard work for me has its wonderful rewards - here a picture of the students doing a traditional tribal dance. They are all from the 'Ha' tribe - and their traditional dancing involves a lot of jumping, with bells around their ankles. It's fascinatingly similar to Morris Dancing! 

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