I HAD the pleasure last week of meeting with Terry Waite, special envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and congratulating him on his recent success in securing the release of the four British hostages in Libya.
He did his national service in the Guards and bases his whole life on a constant prayer life which does not just call on God's help on special occasions.
Modest, shy and unassuming he was first catapulted into the international spotlight when, as the Archbishop of Canterbury's special envoy, he procured the release of three British missionaries in Iran four years ago.
Born in Cheshire, son of a police sergeant, he worked for the Catholic Church in Rome during his career after serving in Uganda as adviser to the first native African Anglican Archbishop there.
Terry Waite is married, with four lovely children. His 'deep Christian simplicity and humility is backed by tough study periods in America, in Louvain and in Rome. Would that many more of us had his great tenacity of faith.
Our picture shows him outside the YMCA headquarters where he found time last week to become Honorary Chairman of Y Care International, the YMCA's new World Development Agency. He is seen here carrying two half empty buckets to symbolise "the endless search for water" shared by millions in the Sudan where Y Care is supporting major YMCA feeding programmes for Ethiopian refugees as part of its overall response to the African famine.
JOHN CAMPION Burke-Gaffney, who was educated at Douai Abbey School, is the new director general of the British Red Cross Society. Aged 53, and formerly with Shell International, he succeeds the present director general who is retiring. He is the son of Dr Harry Burke-Gaffney OBE a noted figure in Tanganyikan medicine who became director of the Bureau of Hygiene and Tropical Disease at London University.