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Personal View of the Reverend Malcolm Beal, Rector of St Clement, interviewed by Geraldine des Forges. He was born in Weymouth and grew up seeing the Jersey boats. His father came from Sheffield and served in the navy at the end of the first world war. His father met his mother at a dance at Weymouth. When he was born his father was working as an electrician and then he became stage manager of a theatre and worked hard but died when he was 60. He used to have a love hate relationship with the theatre-he enjoyed worling there but resented it taking his father away from him. He has a brother, Colin, who lives in Canada and a sister Cora who died of cancer. They grew up in a difficult time because of the second world war and air raids but childhood seemed to be normal. They had a lot of freedom when they were children, even during the war. He was a choir boy and he used to go in the dark to choir practice. He enjoyed school and did what he had to do. He remembers being taught to pray at home and they went to sunday school. His brother and he were involved in the church choir. His parents didn't always go to church but they encouraged their children to get involved. Through his parents his sister had got involved with a bible class called the Girl Crusaders and through that they heard of a Crusaders class for boys which he joined. It was a strong influence with a bible based teaching. There was a feeling of uplift at joining the group and a sense of purpose. First Record-Parry's 'I was glad when they said unto me we will go into the house of the lord'. When he was 12 he went to a missionary meeting at his church-he felt a call to do missionary work. As he went through school it was a struggle-by the sixth form he decided to do a teacher training course. He left school and went to Bristol University to learn latin. He enjoyed his time at Bristol-he enjoyed his teaching more than his undergraduate course and his theological college best. He went to a school where Gilbert and Sullivan was very popular-the first they did was the Priates of Penzance which is very special to him now. When he was at university he was a distance from music but he enjoyed it. After national service he joined the choral society. When he was teaching he taught at a Quaker School at Somerset where music was very important. Second Record-Gilbert and Sullivan's 'With Cat-Like Tread' from the Pirates of Penzance. For national service he served 2 years in the navy from 1952. He learnt Russian for his national service. He didn't feel he was successful as a teacher but wasn't sure if he was ready for the ministry. In the end he started studying for the ministry in July 1957. He was based in Cambridge-one of the advantages of being at the theological college was being able to use the universities facilities. Towards the latter half of his college life some of his friends had started a choir and on Sundays there were a lot of ladies around involved in the singing. One of the ladies he met there later became his wife-she was a radiographer at the time. They were married in less than a year, a few months after he was ordained. Third Record-Part of Dvorak's New World Symphony. He was ordained in Wells Cathedral in September 1959 and went to be a curate in the parish of Keynsham and after 4 months they got married. His vicar was a very efficient worker-he had good ideas and knew what needed to be done. He regarded visiting as very important-the ministry should be getting in to people's homes. Mary and he were married in Cambridge and spent their honeymoon in Canterbury. Their first son David was born in Keynsham. After Keynsham he ended up with a curacy in Speke, Liverpool which was a housing estate with 27,000 people. They were placed in a pleasant council house but it could be very bleak. It wasn't an easy time for him-at first he wanted to leave but when he got to know people things changed. His second son Andrew was born in the parish. He then moved to Uganda after he received a letter from Everard Perrins, headmaster of a school in Uganda, saying that his name had been mentioned as someone with a teaching qualification who had expressed an interest in working on a mission. Once the suggestion was made it seemed to be a good idea and they applied and after six months they travelled to Uganda where he became chaplain to the school. He taught scripture at the school. He enjoyed the life in Uganda-it has a comfortable climate but no seasons, friendly people and a church that is alive. In their early years in Uganda there was a reaction against Christianity in the country but over the years the church in Uganda has started involving younger people. Fourth Record-A Piece from the Anglican Youth Fellowship Choir of Uganda. In Uganda his daughter Sarah was born in 1966 just after an earthquake in the country. Life in the school in Uganda was similar as life in an English school-the system was based on the English system. The school was founded in the 1920s by an Irishman who used to be in the navy. It was a school with a good reputation in the country and so had a good standard of pupil-the pupils really wanted to work in the country. When they first went to Uganda the President was a titular leader. After a year a coup failed and another leader took over. General Amin took over after 5 years. During Amin's time it was hard but it was mostly the people of Uganda who had it difficult-since they left it got much worse. In 1974 they returned to England but didn't know where they were going. They went to a village in Warwickshire called Salford Priors but he missed Uganda. He enjoyed getting involved in village life in Salford Priors-there were people who lived and worked in the village rather than all commuters. His wife got involved in the overseas aspects of Mothers Union. She was invited on to the Overseas Committee of Mothers' Union. Has happy memories of Salford Priors but started to wonder if they should make a move further south because of his mother's age-the suggestion of St Clement was made and they decided to move. They visited Jersey and were interviewed and they decided to come and live and work in St Clement. They were very happy to be in Jersey-he liked living near the sea again. There is a tremendous amount of work in the parish-being in touch with people who have been ill in the parish and reaching out to people in the parish. He feels that the church in Jersey is strong but has a long way to go-there are falling numbers in the church but it is not a time for despair. He is retiring to Devon but is going to miss Jersey-saying goodbye will be difficult. He doesn't have any plans for the future. It will be easier to see his family when they move to England. Fifth Record-Handel's Hallelujah Chorus.
March 30th 1997 - March 30th 1997
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