News from the Village of Belmesthorpe – July 2021



It’s been a crazy few months since I started to pick up my ‘normal’ responsibilities, after being so ill with COVID in January. Thankfully, I can honestly say that I feel healthier and stronger than I did before I was ill….and a good thing too with all that we have had to manage over the past weeks! 

The opening of schools and colleges was delayed due to the surge of COVID at the turn of the year, but then suddenly, they were opened just before Easter. Our college and university students recommenced face to face lectures or started practical attachments and our school children’s first term began. However, within a few days and with only 24 hours’ notice, primary and secondary schools had to reduce daily attendance by having lessons on alternate days for different groups. Last week, and again with very little notice, all children had to attend school every day…a somewhat puzzling decision given the possibility of a serious ‘third wave’ because of the Indian variant having been positively identified in the country. 

This has meant complicated scheduling and rescheduling on our part to organise activities for the children when they were home all day, as well as complete re-organisation of their houseparents’ annual leave. The children have adapted to the changes with barely a blink. 

In spite of all of the disruptions and restrictions, our son Peter, who joined our family almost 25 years ago as a small baby, completed his BA in Theology and Pastoral Studies just before Easter and within a few days of returning home was offered a position at a nearby primary boarding school teaching Family and Religious Studies coaching sport, and being part of the pastoral care team for the weekend boarders. 

He sent me this e-mail on Mothers’ Day. I shared how God healed you during the time when you had covid and how we were scared of what will happen, but God amazingly healed you. But as I was sharing I realized that my mum is a fighter and she is brave, she stands tall like a mother eagle, or mother lion. And I’m grateful to God for you and how you never gave up on me even through my worst times. 

There are days, when, despite feeling physically strong, I confess to feeling totally overwhelmed by the ‘behind the scenes’ organisation and administration that is need-ed to keep Montgomery going; days when things seem to be spinning completely out of control …not very ‘lion-like’ at all! 

The National COVID vaccination programme in the country had a slow start, partly because of considerable suspicion and superstition among the general population, but all of our staff and over 18 year olds were very eager to benefit from the programme and everyone eligible in our big family has now been fully vaccinated. 

Despite restrictions easing up in different parts of the world, Zimbabwe remains on the British Government’s ‘Red List’ which means that short of paying the exorbitant fee to be quarantined for 10 days in a specified hotel, it is simply impractical both financially and time-wise to exit Zimbabwe at present. It’s hard to put into words how ‘cut off’ from family and friends overseas we have begun to feel 

So will you join us in praying for: 

1. The nation of Zimbabwe. A three metre high bronze statue of a spirit medium, Mbuya Nehanda, was erected in a prominent place in Harare this week with many traditional healers attending the unveiling ceremony and bowing down to it. There has been considerable criticism of the use of public funds for this statue when the country’s health and education systems are in such a poor state due to the deteriorat-ing economy, but more disturbing is the fact that witchcraft is being so openly champi-oned by the country’s leaders. 

2. Wisdom and energy for the Montgomery leadership team to juggle an increasingly complicated load with so many uncertainties in the country. 

3. Continued protection from COVID for the whole family of children and staff at 

Montgomery, and for the spread of the virus in the country to be halted. 

4. Continued and even increased unity among the Montgomery staff as a whole; we are so very blessed to have such a great team of people to work with and want to guard and nurture this precious resource. 


P.O. Box 75, Concession, Zimbabwe E-mail 

Newsletter: 9, Acacia Avenue, Dogsthorpe, Peterborough PE14QD England