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Former church minister sells paintings to help pupils in Sierra Leone

A retired church minister and artist will be selling a collection of his work in support of a school in Sierra Leone named after his late wife.

Former baptist minister Terry Murphy will be displaying paintings and prints at the cafe in Maidenhead Town Hall in aid of the Mo Murphy Memorial Academy.

The school in the West African country was named after his wife Mo, a former teacher, who died earlier this year after a 15-year battle with Alzheimer’s.

The academy was started after the end of the Ebola crisis just over a year ago with six

pupils but has now grown to almost 100.

Terry, from Cookham Road, said: “They used to call her Mother Mo.

“We developed a genuine affection with the people there.”

Before the school was set up, the nearest was six miles away and some of the pupils walked three hours there and back every day.

“During the Ebola crisis, all of the schools were shut for one year, so the kids are all really eager to make up for that time,” Terry said.

The school is in need of urgent roof repairs, has no toilet, and needs four new classrooms.

He originally began working in the country through his work as a minister when he was asked to preach at a local church. He then

became involved with the charity Mission Direct. He is now a trustee and responsible for the pastoral care of staff and volunteers.

The charity takes volunteers to work in developing countries, linking them to building projects that improve the lives of individuals and communities.

Prime Minister Theresa May is a patron of the charity.

The MP for Maidenhead said: “I really enjoy Terry’s artwork and I am pleased to hear

that the proceeds of the fundraiser will be going to Mission Direct, a charity of which I am a patron.”

Terry added: “We’ve been very privileged in our relationship with Theresa. She’s always had a soft spot for us at Mission Direct.”

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