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Elizabeth Tucker

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Elizabeth Tucker (pictured in the middle  waving) was a MANNA Trustee, Committee Associate and long time faithful supporter of the Anglican churches of Mozambique and Angola and ALMA: A wonderful woman of God, steadfast in her love for Him and others. She died in May 2024 and Robert Ashdown has written this tribute: 

ELIZABETH TUCKER        1936 – 2024


Elizabeth was a Cambridge Classics graduate who had a stellar career becoming Headmistress of three highly prestigious Public Schools. She retired in 1996 and, like many who reach that stage in their lives, wondered “what now?”

In 1998 she was one of three people asked to join the first ALMA trip to Mozambique. It was her first time to sub-Saharan Africa and she was so excited. I remember that, on our second evening, we were sitting on the balcony of the former missionaries’ house in Maxixe, overlooking the bay towards Inhambane, perhaps the most beautiful spot in the world. We were drinking fresh coconut milk from coconuts that had just been cut from the palms. She turned to me and said: ” I have a feeling that a completely new life is opening up for me.”

Only too true – the next day there was a hidden pothole on the road near a remote village  called Zove. Our car somersaulted three times, and the lives of all passengers could never be the same again. Elizabeth was so badly injured that Bishop Dinis said that he did not know if she was alive or dead. She was loaded onto the back of a passing pick-up truck in the blazing sun which reached the nearest health post after four hours. They could do nothing (and, when I visited it years later, the doctor could not believe that she had survived). Another two hours in a thunderstorm brought her to the hospital in Beira where emergency operations prepared her for an evacuation flight to South Africa where she spend weeks in Intensive Care before she could come back to the UK.

The whole experience for Elizabeth was transformative – she knew what God wanted her to do post retirement, and she went ahead and did it. For the next 25 years she was a powerhouse of energy, showing God’s love and getting people involved in Mozambique while playing an active role in her local parish of St John’s, Friern Barnet, and being a member of many local music societies, both as a singer, and cellist and pianist. She contributed significantly to the building of the church, health centre, school and well at Zove. 


Her Requiem Mass was attended by over 200 people whom she had met in all stages of her life. It is a measure of the esteem in which she was held in Mozambique that, at the same time as her Requiem Mass was being held in London, a parallel service was held in Maputo, officiated over by Archbishop Carlos with Bishop Dinis as the speaker.

I wish to record that she helped me greatly.


Robert Ashdown