What Happened to Terry Waite?

Posted by Laura White  ·  Be the first to comment

Upon meeting Terry Waite, it’s hard to believe this man spent close to 5 years in captivity. Facing the harsh reality of mock executions and the loss of contact with his family. Yet, if you watched the news between 1987-1991 his face will be instantly recognisable.

For 1763 days, Terry Waite was held captive in Beirut. He had gone to Lebanon to negotiate the release of Western captives but instead he ended up hostage himself, enduring long spells of solitary confinement. Finally, on 18th November 1991, Terry Waite, alongside an American hostage, was freed.

Taken on Trust, Terry Waite

To mark 25 years since his release, Waite has re-published his powerful, best-selling autobiography “Taken on Trust”. The new edition includes an extra chapter, bringing the story up to date and focussing on the current state of the Middle East. Waite’s personal account of his harrowing experience documents 1763 days of endurance, perseverance and faith.  Following his release, he is documented as saying he held on to three truths: “no regrets”, “no self-pity” and “no over-sentimentality”. Unable to contact his family during his captivity, he ‘coped’ by pushing thoughts of them to the back of his mind, recognising that thinking of his wife and children was just too hard.

As the former envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury, it is unsurprising that he is often asked about his faith. Most commonly, whether in those moments of solitude he felt closer to God. He is refreshingly honest in his response, a simple: “no!” In those moments, he felt completely alone. But that doesn’t mean he doubted God. For him those feelings and his faith were entirely separate.

Out of Silence, Terry Waite

A learned man, it’s understandable that he missed opportunities to read and write. Apart from once when he was forced to write a letter to his family as part of a mock execution. Instead, he wrote poems and reflections in his head which he wrote down and reworked following his release. This year he releases the collection “Out of Silence”. This collection gives us a glimpse into the depths of faith, hope and love that sustained him through that intense time of suffering. They also take us into memories of his later life, reminding us of the joy and contentment to be found in meaningful work, and in the humanity, we share each day with those around us.

Throughout his work, he pays a repeated tribute to his wife of 52 years, Frances for loyalty, gentleness, determination and sensitivity, recognising in the aftermath that what Terry needed for his reintegration was space and time.

Following his release, he was elected a Fellow Commoner at Trinity Hall in Cambridge, spending weekdays here before returning to his family at the weekends. It was here that he first penned “Taken on Trust”.

Despite the experience, Waite returned to Beirut in 2004, not due to a believe that he had ‘ghosts’ to put to rest but because he felt he couldn’t advise others, in his work, to ‘sit down with someone you disagree with, put the past behind you”, unless he too was willing to do the same.

Terry Waite is now an author and lecture; he supports several charities including Hostage UK, Warrington Male Voice Choir and Y Care International.

8th November

November 8th, 2016 - Posted & Written by Laura White

Thumbs Down0
Thumbs Up0

Did you find this article useful?

0 Visitor Comments

Join in the Eden community and comment on this article

Leave A Comment

Leave your comments or suggestions in regards to this article.

Product Spotlight
Taken on Trust

Taken on Trust

Availability: In Stock - Order before 4pm for same day dispatch

Offer Price: £9.99

Most Popular Articles
Advent Reflection: 18th December - Andy Robb
Posted on Monday 18th of December
Advent Reflection: 17th December - Magdalen Smith
Posted on Sunday 17th of December
Advent Reflection: 16th December - Rachel Ridler
Posted on Saturday 16th of December
Rend Collective: A Look Back in Irish
Posted on Friday 15th of December
Advent Reflection: 15th December - Gemma Willis
Posted on Friday 15th of December
Advent Reflection: 18th December - Andy Robb
Posted on Monday 18th of December
Advent Reflection: 17th December - Magdalen Smith
Posted on Sunday 17th of December
Advent Reflection: 16th December - Rachel Ridler
Posted on Saturday 16th of December
Rend Collective: A Look Back in Irish
Posted on Friday 15th of December
Advent Reflection: 15th December - Gemma Willis
Posted on Friday 15th of December
The Ultimate Guide To.... Classic Christian Books
Posted on Saturday 15th of April
What Are Eden Bundles?
Posted on Friday 11th of November
Creating an all age, fun, and messy church
Posted on Wednesday 28th of March

Updates from the live @Edencouk twitter feed!

Twitter Seperator
Don't forget to follow us @edencouk
Recent Article Comments
No Comments.

Nia Wright has made 0 posts.

34 useful comments

A Reader has made 2 posts.

26 useful comments

Les Ellison has made 51 posts.

10 useful comments

Lyn Myers has made 5 posts.

8 useful comments

Ian Matthews has made 8 posts.

8 useful comments

Last updated: 17518 days, 22 hrs, 33 mins ago