Terry Waite has led a remarkable life both as a diplomat and a humanitarian. As a world-renowned agent of peace, he is a testament to the power and resilience of the human spirit. Long devoted to humanitarian causes, inter-cultural relations, and conflict resolution, Terry gained international recognition in the 1980s when, serving as a special envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury, he successfully negotiated the release of hostages in Iran and Libya. In 1987, while negotiating the release of hostages in Beirut, Terry Waite was himself taken hostage. In captivity for 1,763 days - four years of which were in solitary confinement - he was chained to a wall, often left in darkness, beaten and subjected to mock executions.
Stress, loneliness and negotiating under acute pressure are just some of the issues with which he has unique experience, and his ability to communicate clearly and with a good humour has placed him in constant demand internationally as a speaker. Terry provides a perspective of World affairs founded upon open communication, cooperation and a deep understanding of diverse cultures. In January 1996 he accepted an invitation to become Patron of the Warrington Male Voice Choir, and since that time has been the choir’s greatest advocate.
He says of the choir:
The choir has a long and distinguished history. Its roots are deep within the Christian tradition. It was nourished within a small industrial town in the North of England. Across the generations, men from every walk of life have blended their voices together to make music. There have been times in the history of Warrington when life has seemed dark indeed. Times when unemployment with all its attendant evils has stalked the town. In good times, as in bad, the Choir has continued in the belief that music has the capacity to raise our spirits to a higher plane, and to bring harmony into troubled souls.
(Taken from the sermon in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, December 1997) .
Terry Waite CBE