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TERRY WAITE CBE (humanitarian & author) 

"Words cannot describe how deeply honoured I feel to know Terry Waite, let alone be performing with him. And words cannot describe the gratitude I experience every time I am in his presence. However, what I feel I can put into words is that love and compassion shine in his eyes and that in him, humanity takes its shape in the purest and most dignified way. Terry Waite, your light brings tears of blissfulness to my eyes and shows me the path to inner peace."

Vicky Yannoula

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TErry waite's books

books and CDs will be available for purchase and signing at the events
(cash and card payments accepted)



Full biography


"Sometimes the wheels of justice grind slowly"

"At the end of the day, love and compassion will win"

"The terrible thing about terrorism is that ultimately it destroys those who practise it. Slowly but surely, as they try to extinguish life in others, the light within them dies."

"Freeing hostages is like putting up a stage set, which you do with the captors, agreeing on each piece as you slowly put it together; then you leave an exit through which both the captor and the captive can walk with sincerity and dignity."

'Words & Music'
celebrating the 30th anniversary of Terry Waite's release from captivity

Book and CD purchase and signing available at the event

Terry Waite CBE (author) & Vicky Yannoula (piano)

  • 9 June 2022 - 'Words & Music'

​St, Paul's Church, Sandgate (Sandgate Hill, CT20 3BA) 19:00
  • 13 November 2021 - 'Words & Music'

​Church on the Heath, Fleet, Elvetham Heath (The Key, Fleet GU51 1HA), 19:30


Special events to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Terry Waite's release from captivity in Beirut  |  Poetry & Prose Readings and Piano Music 

Book and CD purchase and signing available at the event (cash and card payments accepted) - download the book list HERE.

Evenings of poetry and prose with reflective piano music. Humanitarian and author Terry Waite CBE reads extracts from his book 'Out of the silence: memories, poems, reflections' where he recalls the highs and lows of his life, both during his ordeal as a hostage and in the happier years of humanitarian work that have followed. Vicky Yannoula performs classical piano music that aims to reflect the meaning of the readings and take the listener on a journey to inner peace.

Terry Waite CBE

humanitarian & author

Terry Waite photo: by Jenny Coles

Terry Waite was born in the county of Cheshire, England on the 31st May 1939. He was educated locally and received his higher education in London. On leaving college he was appointed as Education Advisor to the Anglican Bishop of Bristol, England and remained in that post until he moved to East Africa in 1969. In Uganda he worked as Provincial Training Adviser to the first African Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi and in that capacity travelled extensively throughout East Africa. Together with his wife Frances and their four children he witnessed the Amin coup in Uganda and both he and his wife narrowly escaped death on several occasions. From his office in Kampala he founded the Southern Sudan Project and was responsible for developing programmes of aid and development for this war-torn region.


In 1972 he responded to an invitation to work as an International Consultant to a Roman Catholic Medical Order and moved with his family to live in Rome, Italy. From this base he travelled extensively throughout Asia, Africa, North and South America and Europe both conducting and advising on programmes concerned with Institutional Change and Development, Inter-Cultural Relations, Group and Inter-group Dynamics and a broad range of development issues connected with both health and education.


In 1980 he was recruited by the Archbishop of Canterbury and moved to Lambeth Palace, London where he joined the Archbishop’s Private Staff. In his capacity as Advisor to the Archbishop he again travelled extensively throughout the world and had a responsibility for the Archbishop’s diplomatic and ecclesiastical exchanges. He arranged and travelled with the Archbishop on the first ever visit of an Archbishop of Canterbury to China and has responsibility for travels to Australia, New Zealand, Burma, USA, Canada, The Caribbean, South Africa, East and West Africa to name but a few places.


In the early 1980s he successfully negotiated the release of several hostages from Iran and this event brought him to public attention. In 1983 he negotiated with Colonel Ghadafi for the release of British hostages held in Libya and again was successful. In January 1987 while negotiating for the release of Western hostages in Lebanon he himself was taken captive and remained in captivity for 1,763 days, the first four years of which were spent in total solitary confinement.


Following his release on 19th November 1991 he was elected a Fellow Commoner at Trinity Hall Cambridge England where he wrote his first book Taken on Trust. This quickly became an international best-seller and headed the lists in the UK and elsewhere. Following his experience as a captive he decided to make a career change and determined to give himself to study, writing, lecturing and humanitarian activities. His second book Footfalls in Memory was published in the UK in 1995 and again was a best-seller. His latest book published in October 2000 Travels with a Primate is a humorous account of his journeys with Archbishop Runcie. He has contributed articles to many journals and periodicals ranging from the Reader’s Digest to the Kipling Journal and has also contributed articles and forewords to many books. He was elected Visiting Fellow to Magdalen College Oxford for the Trinity term 2006.


Since his release he has been in constant demand as a lecturer, writer and broadcaster and has appeared in North and South America, Australia and New Zealand, South Africa and throughout Europe. There has been a particular interest in the lectures he has delivered relating his experiences as a negotiator and as a hostage to the pressures faced by executives and managers. Stress, loneliness and negotiating under acute pressure are but some of the issues with which he has a unique experiences and his ability to communicate clearly and with good humour has meant that he is in constant demand as a speaker not only to the Business Community but also to professionals in social work, education and medical field as well as to religious groups. He maintains an on-going interest in current humanitarian and political affairs.

Some of the awards he has received include:


  • Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) 1982

  • Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) 1992

  • Templeton UK Award 1985

  • Honoured with the Four Freedoms Award for Freedom of Worship in May 1992 by the Roosevelt Institute during a ceremony in Middelburg, the Netherlands, for his bravery and unwavering fidelity to God's command that showed the world again how a single individual, sustained by faith, can transform disaster into an opportunity to advance the work of the Lord

  • Doctor of Civil Law University of Kent at Canterbury, 1986

  • Doctor of Civil Law University of the City of London, 1992

  • Doctor of Law University of Durham, 1992

  • Doctor of Law Liverpool University, 1992

  • Doctor of Civil Law University of Sussex, 1992

  • DHC, Yale Divinity School, 1992

  • Hon LHD Wittenberg University, 1992

  • Doctor of Humane Letters, University of Southern Florida, 1992

  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1996

  • Honorary Doctor of Philosophy, Anglia Polytechnic University, 2001 (renamed Anglia Ruskin University 2005)

  • Honorary Doctor of Letters, Nottingham Trent University 2001

  • Honorary Doctor of Letters, De Montfort University 2005

  • Honorary Doctor of Law, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, 2007

  • Honorary Doctor of Letters, Chester University 2008

  • Honorary Doctor of the Open University 2009

  • Freedom of Canterbury 1992;  Lewisham 1992

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