All Saints Day 2012… and the CMS connection!

A special gathering on All Saints Day yesterday for all our retired clergy, and one very special VIP visitor!

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Rev. Roy Taylor was here in Taiwan from 1969-79, as a CMS-UK missionary no less, and is back here for a week to reconnect with old friends and familiar places.  His last visit to Taiwan was 22 years ago in 1990 – so there is much for him to catch up on …  and it’s my first time to meet him, so I too have lots to catch up on!
Lots has changed in Taiwan since the 1970’s, and Roy has many wonderful stories to tell of life in the old days….

He was originally sent by CMS to Taipei to learn the Chinese language – with the idea that after 2 years he would move on to ministry in Sabah, East Malaysia….but visa problems meant he never got there and instead moved to south Taiwan where he met his wife, Eileen, who was from N. Ireland and then working for OMF – they married and had 2 sons, both born in Taiwan.

In south Taiwan, they were based in Tainan, at St. Michael’s House next to Tainan Theological College, where they worked with students….

Well, those former students are now ….. our retired clergy!

And so they gathered today in Taipei for lunch, and then an All Saints Day service at the diocesan office chapel…

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For some of our retired clergy it was a rare visit to the far north of Taiwan!  This is Rev. Jason Ke with Rev. Michael Liou, and then talking with our treasurer John Chuang…

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After the lunch and service, I took Roy to visit St. John’s University and Advent Church…
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Roy’s younger son, Christopher and his girlfriend are also here and came with us in the afternoon… many of our younger clergy remember the family too, and Christopher as a very small boy!

When Christopher was 4 years old the family returned to the UK and Roy went into parish ministry in Wolverhampton and then Devon, plus ministry with OMF ~ they eventually retired to N. Ireland, where Roy still lives, although Eileen sadly died a few years ago….

Roy turns 75 on November 5, and he’s never lost his northern England accent, turns out he comes from Blackpool!  And he’s never lost his Chinese language either – and he even preached in Chinese last Sunday at St. James’ Church in Taichung… amazing!

Last night we went back to Taipei for a farewell dinner with our diocesan chancellor Herbert Ma and his wife, Rev. Peter Chen and Rev. Elizabeth Wei, plus Bishop and Lily Lai…

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So Roy and family leave today for Beijing and then home ~ a wonderful visit, and a very special All Saints Day, with a strong CMS connection!

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