Christian leaders from across the world responded with warm tributes to the news of Prebendary Richard Bewes’ peaceful release from months of suffering from cancer at 6.25pm on Friday 9 May at his home in Virginia Water, surrounded by Timothy, Wendy, Stephen and his wife Pam.
A child of the East African Revival in the 1930s, he treasured his African roots and was the UK chairman of African Enterprise for 32 years. The son of missionary parents, Canon Cecil and Mrs Sylvia Bewes, he was born in 1934 in Nairobi and spent his first five years in what became (over 40 years later) the library of St Andrew College of Theology and Development in Kabare, founded by Archbishop David Gitari in 1977.
The family moved then to Weithaga where — along with his two brothers and sister — he had ‘the most tranquil upbringing a child could have’ on the lower slopes of Mt Kenya.
He told the story of how he first experienced revival as a child to the sound of thousands of African voices singing, in his most recent and final book Under the Thorn Tree – when Revival comes.
Coming to England at the age of 13, he was educated at Marlborough College, (and Iwerne Minster Camps), Emmanuel College and Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He was ordained by Bishop Chavasse of Rochester in 1959 and served a six-year curacy under Herbert Cragg at Christ Church, Beckenham. Then successively he was vicar of St Peter’s, Harold Wood, Emmanuel, Northwood and finally successor to Michael Baughen as vicar of All Souls, Langham Place.
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