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From Zimbabwe to Norfolk: a priest adjusts

02 June 2010


From the Revd Andrew M. Thomson

Sir, — I read the article on clergy moving to other countries (Features, 28 May) with great interest. I went the other way, and moved from Zimbabwe (where I was born) to England in 1992, long before the current turmoil in the Zimbabwean Church. I think I had a call to move here that went back to the time I spent at theological college in England. This seems to have been borne out as my family and I found a true ‘home’ here, both in our personal lives and in my ministry.

I was brought up in an English way, and so do not feel too out of place. Like the Revd David Richardson, however, I had to learn to stop using Zimbabwean collo­quialisms that are not understood here.

More importantly, I can understand the Revd Elizabeth Dyke’s missing being vicar of a whole community. This was an aspect of ministry I had not experienced in Zimbabwe and really appreciate here. I think it is one of the Church of England’s greatest strengths, and needs to be pre­served, whatever the future of establishment.

It is so easy, when ministry is focused on the congregation, to grow inward-looking and forget that the Church exists to show God’s love to all.

Andrew Thomson
The Vicarage, 18 Front Street
South Creake
NR21 9PE

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