Terry Waite

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Terry Waite CBE (born 31 May 1939 in Bollington, Cheshire) is an English humanitarian and author.

Waite was Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie's Assistant for Anglican Communion Affairs in the 1980s. As an envoy for the Church of England, he travelled to Lebanon to try to secure the release of four hostages including journalist John McCarthy. He was himself held captive between 1987 and 1991.

He is also President of the charity Y Care International (the YMCA's international development and relief agency) and Patron of AbleChildAfrica. He is also President of Emmaus UK, a charity for formerly homeless people.


Early life

The son of a village policeman, Waite was educated at Stockton Heath County Secondary school where he became Head Boy. Although his parents were only nominally religious, he showed a commitment to Christianity from an early age.

Early career

Waite joined the Grenadier Guards at the Caterham Barracks, but an allergy to a dye in the uniform obliged his departure after a few months. He then considered the monastic life, but rejected this idea and instead joined the Church Army, the evangelistic arm of the Anglican church, and underwent training and studies in London. While he was held captive in the 1980s many Church Army Officers wore a simple badge with the letter H upon it, to remind people that he was still a hostage, and was being supported in prayer daily.

In 1963, Waite was appointed as Education Advisor to the Anglican Bishop of Bristol, Oliver Tomkins, and assisted with Tomkins's implementation of the SALT (Stewardship and Laity Training) programme in the diocese, along with Canon Basil Moss. The position required him to master psychological T-group methods, with the aim of promoting increased active involvement from the laity of the Church. During this time he married Helen Frances Watters.

In 1969, he moved to Uganda where he worked as Provincial Training Adviser to Erica Sabiti, the first African Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi, and in that capacity travelled extensively throughout East Africa. Together with his wife Frances and their four children he witnessed the Idi Amin coup in Uganda, and both he and his wife narrowly escaped death on several occasions. From his office in Kampala he founded the Southern Sudan Project and was responsible for developing programmes of aid and development for this war-torn region.

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