David Livingstone

Throughout 2013, there have been events celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of David Livingstone – one of Scotland’s best-known explorers and missionaries.

The David Livingstone Centre in Blantyre was at the heart of bicentenary events during March. Celebrations began on 17th March when First Minister, Alex Salmond welcomed the President of Malawi, Dr Joyce Banda, to LIvingstone’s birthplace. President Banda also joined the congregation of Blantyre Livingstone Memorial Church for a special service of commemoration.

On 19th March, the day of Livingstone’s birthday, Blantyre locals of all ages marked the occasion with the opening of a new exhibition at the Centre. The event was also attended by dignitaries from Malawi and Zambia, the Scottish Minister for External Affairs and International Development, Humza Yousaf MSP, and representatives of the Scottish-African community.

David Livingstone Service

Photo: By kind permission of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster

In London, over 500 guests attended the wreath-laying ceremony in Westminster Abbey. The service, led by the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster Abbey, included contributions from Scottish and Malawian faith leaders, and senior UK and Scottish politicians. President Banda’s laying of a Malawian flower wreath was followed by three of Livingstone’s great grandchildren, who laid a wreath of Scottish flowers on their ancestor’s grave.

This November, we celebrate Livingstone’s Christian life at a thanksgiving service in Glasgow Cathedral, where we will be joined by Clapperton Mayuni, General Secretary of the Bible Society of Malawi. In addition to addressing the guests at Glasgow Cathedral, Clapperton will be visiting churches and attending meetings across Scotland to talk about Bible Society work in Malawi and how the challenges faced by Malawians today are very different from those faced in David Livingstone’s time.

Find out more about Bible Society work in Malawi. For tickets for the service of thanksgiving to celebrate the life of David Livingstone, please email the National Trust for Scotland – livingstone@nts.org.uk

This is an extract from an article that appears in Issue 69 of Alive & Active. Click here to find out more about Alive & Active and request a copy for yourself or bulk copies for your church.