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.
The Vicarage, 18 Front Street