The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity began yesterday. This morning the Chairman of Sherborne Churches Together, John Bradshaw, preaches at the 9.30 am Parish Eucharist. A word about John. Members of the Abbey 09.30 congregation will recognise him immediately: he and Sue are regulars. So too is Jimmy, John’s guide dog. Here is a little of John’s story in his own words:
I grew up in Zimbabwe during the civil war. After finishing school I was conscripted into the army and volunteered to join a specialist unit defusing booby trapped land-mines. During that time I was badly injured and am now totally blind. After partially recovering from my injuries, I pursued an academic career. I obtained a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge and went on to teach university level Computer Science for several years. At the same time I managed a large undergraduate residence at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Following a successful career in the academic world I returned to the family farm to pursue my dream. After 7 successful and happy years we were evicted as part of Mugabe’s land redistribution programme, having been given just 24 hours to vacate the farm. We lost both our homes and our livelihoods. Determined to stay in my beloved country, I returned to education, as headmaster at one of Zimbabwe’s leading independent schools, Watershed College. From there I was approached to head the top girls’ boarding school, Peterhouse Girls. I am told that I was the only totally blind headmaster running a “normal” school in the world. In 2014 due to the continued difficult political situation and family commitments, I resigned as headmaster and moved to the UK with my wife Sue, and Sabre, my guide dog. We now live in Sherborne.
Sabre is now officially retired, but still lives at home. Jimmy has succeeded him. John travels all over the country as an inspirational speaker. John and Sue are loyal and loving Abbey members.
Sue has provided me with the programme for the rest of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Here it is:
Monday 20th, 7.30 pm – 8.30 pm St. Paul’s Church, evening prayers
Tuesday 21st, 1.30 pm St James Longburton – Service at Leweston School
Wednesday 22nd, 10.45 am Catholic Church, Stations of the Cross
Thursday 23rd, 10.30 am Cheap Street Church, Thought for the Day
Thursday 23rd, 11.30 am Abbey, Sepulchre Chapel, Prayer for Peace
Friday 24th, 9.00 am Abbey, Ecumenical Eucharist