OR Memoirs – Rev Ambrose Weekes

The memoirs of the Rt Revd Ambrose W.M. Weekes CB, QHC, FKC, AKC, RN.
This book, published by Sampson Low Ltd contains Ambrose’s own account of his ‘Most interesting life’. Written largely during his retirement he was never able to produce a document complete and ready for publication but his niece, Mary Snape (daughter of Isabel, Ambrose’s sister) has transcribed and edited Ambrose’s handwritten account and discovered a fascinating insight into a distinguished and fulfilling career both in the Navy, first as a Naval Chaplain rising to be Chaplain of the Fleet and subsequently in the Anglican Diocese of Europe, becoming in due course Dean of Gibraltar and Suffragan Bishop of Europe.

Ambrose, born and brought up on the Island of Sheppey, Kent, went on to be educated at Rochester Choir School and the Joseph Williamson Mathematical School before Theological Training at Kings College London and Lincoln Theological College, Ordination at Rochester Cathedral and a Curacy at St Luke’s Gillingham.

He then joined the Navy as Chaplain in 1944 and there followed a long and remarkable career in the Navy. He served all over the world including time in the Far East, two spells with the Royal Marine Commandos (having earned his ‘green beret’ at Bickleigh) , in Egypt during the Suez crisis and later in Indonesia. However, perhaps his enduring interest was with the training of young entrants to the Service and he had three spells at HMS Ganges which he described as both fulfilling and enjoyable.

Becoming Chaplain of the Fleet he described as an honour and he took on this challenge with enthusiasm and humour. In fact humour comes through in every aspect of his career, that and the enjoyment of living and entertaining. He was able to make contact with all from Rating to Senior Officers, a rare talent.

In Europe he served in Tangier, Gibraltar (as Dean) was consecrated Bishop at Greenwich, and spent the following years visiting countries in the Diocese from France, through Italy and as far away as Russia. He didn’t even stay still in retirement because he went from Rochester to Territet, Switzerland before finally hanging up his Bishop’s Crook.

Ambrose writes with a refreshing and humorous outlook, not afraid to laugh at himself and always giving a sharp and telling description of his experiences whether as a Junior Chaplain or as a respected and Senior Churchman.
The Rt Revd Dr Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe has kindly written a Foreword to this book, which is now available. It should be of interest to those who have known Ambrose in whatever context, to those interested in an insider’s view of the Navy and its workings and to anyone wishing to learn about the Diocese in Europe from one who has worked there.

Good quality A4 Paperback. B&W and colour photographs. 150 pages. Price £24.00 +P&P. Order forms available from Mary Snape (Editor) 3 Greenfoot, Mealsgate, Wigton, Cumbria CA7 1DF Tel: 01697371437
Email: mary.snape1@btinternet.com February 2013

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