Canon Dr Rachel Tarling
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Dr. Rachel Tarling

Canon Dr Rachel Tarling (Neé Drayson)


I was born in London in 1961 soon after my father had died, and went to school in Birkenhead in Cheshire.  When I was 10, my mother remarried and we went to live in Sydenham in SE London, and then Reigate in Surrey.  I gained 8 O' Levels and 4 A' Levels together with 1 special paper; as well as being awarded the Queen's Guide Badge, and being the Leader of Junior Christian Union and Member of School Orchestra and Choir.

    I spent my teenage years at  St. Mary's Reigate being a member of Spearhead and took a GAP Year working in a mentally handicapped children's home in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    I trained in Medicine at Edinburgh University, graduating in 1985 having undertaken my elective at Kapsowar, Kenya (a General Hospital administered by AIM with medical, surgical, T.B., obstetric and children's wards); I did house jobs in Lothian and the Borders, and then joined a general medical rotation in London.  I went on to gain my MRCP in 1989 and then worked as a Haematology Registrar at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington before coming to Tanzania.

   I met Godfrey at St Thomas’ Church in Edinburgh, where he was studying at Heriot-Watt University for a Master’s Degree in Construction Management.  We married at St. Mary's Reigate in 1988 and now have three children.

We have both always had an interest in Mission, my own interest springing especially from my time at Kapsowar, which left me with ambitions to go back there one day; Godfrey’s interest sprang from a mission prayer meeting in his teens with delicious lemon cakes, run by the next door neighbours!  I had thought when we married that my ambitions were unlikely to be fulfilled, but a growing sense of calling for us both was strengthened both by a visit to Missionary friends in Kenya, and also by a meeting at which the speaker was the late J Oswald Sanders who was then 92; he was challenging especially the older folk present to make the rest of their lives meaningful.  So we decided to make some preliminary enquiries, and very soon found ourselves on our way to Tanzania.

We spent 1992 –‘93 at All Nations Christian College in Ware, Hertfordshire, which was the best preparation we could have had for going to Tanzania.  The courses were excellent, practical and uplifting, and also a good preparation in our personal lives for going overseas.

   Since 1993 I have been establishing, on behalf of the Anglican Diocese, St. Luke's Health Centre in Mpwapwa, Tanzania which is essentially a General Practice combined with Laboratory and Dispensing facilities on site, plus MCH (Maternal and Child Health) Clinics in eight of the neighbouring villages.  In addition, in the next three years, our work is set to expand to include HIV/AIDS education and counselling, both at the Clinic and in the wider community.  A Maternity ward with delivery facilities and theatre was added to the complex in 2006.

   I enjoy playing the guitar and trumpet, hill walking (Including several Munros), and sailing Enterprise and Laser dinghies.


A comparison of differential white cell counting on the Coulter UCS and the Technicon H1 using simple and multiple regression analysis. Clinical Laboratory Haematology. 1992, 14 pp 293-305 RA Drayson MBChB, MRCP; MSH Hamilton MBChB, MRCP; JM England MB PhD FRCPath.

Percutaneous renal biopsy in the district general hospital. Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London. July 1993, 27:3 pp 247-251 LJ Restrick MRCP; MJK Blomley MRCP; RA Drayson MRCP; MJ Weston FRCP; R Brown FRCP; and BI Hoffbrand FRCP.

Canon Dr Rachel Tarling

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