September 11, 2015
Former hostage Terry Waite and Bishop are welcomed to Burnham

Former Middle East hostage Terry Waite visited Burnham-On-Sea this week where he told churchgoers and school pupils about his 1,763 days in captivity in the Lebanon.

More than 400 people gathered in Burnham-On-Sea's St Andrew's Church on Wednesday to hear him movingly recall his experience, which included a talk about the mock execution of his captives.

He emphasised the current need to keep negotiations alive where possible in the crisis spots of the world.

On Thursday, Terry led an assembly at St Andrew's School, and then went to St Andrew's Church to join in a service led by the Bishop of Bath & Wells, the Rt. Revd Peter Hancock.

The present congregation was thanked and challenged about their role as Christians in Burnham. Members of the U3A and St Andrew's School also took part.

Following the service the Bishop and Terry cut a special cake, pictured above, marking the 700th anniversary of the Church.

The Bishop then walked along the seafront to the BARB hovercraft station, accompanied by the Vicar of Burnham, Rev'd Graham Witts, where they met crewmembers and heard about the charity's work.

Rev Witts said: "This has been a wonderful day in the life of St Andrew's and reminded us of the wider issues of the world and our response to it as Christians. We were grateful to Bishop Peter to spend so much time with us in order to understand some of the issues of Burnham."

St Andrew's School headteacher Graham Morris, pictured right with Terry Waite, added: "We welcomed Terry Waite to the school, where he led an assembly to the school community and shared a short story about his time as a hostage, informing us that he missed books a great deal while he was held in isolation."

"We were all thrilled by his visit and it was an honour to have him as our guest."

"Afterwards the school house captains and myself joined Terry at St Andrew’s Church in a service celebrating its 700th anniversary. It was a special and memorable morning in the life of our school."

Copies of Terry Waite's book - a novel set on a cruise liner - are available from the Vicar by contacting him on 01278 782991 during the next week.


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