Archbishop of Canterbury to visit Christian aviation charity on Monday 30 March

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Rt Hon Justin Welby, will visit MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) at its Folkestone office next Monday to learn more of the Christian charity’s pioneering aviation and gospel ministry.

Ruth Whitaker, Chief Executive at MAF UK said: “we had the opportunity to fly the Archbishop in one of our light aircraft during a visit he made to South Sudan in 2014. He has therefore seen first-hand our work supporting people living in remote and isolated areas. It’s wonderful he’ll be following this up with a visit to meet staff in the UK too. We really appreciate him taking the time out to do this in his busy schedule.”

Amongst other MAF staff Justin Welby and his wife, Caroline, will meet MAF’s founder, WWII veteran and Folkestone resident, Stuart King.

This year MAF celebrates 70 years of God’s faithfulness in serving some of the world’s remotest regions through its expertise in flying light aircraft to remote airstrips, usually in challenging jungle, desert or mountain terrain.

MAF plays an indispensable role in flying humanitarian supplies, emergency treatment, spiritual care, Bible translators and evangelists to isolated areas where other methods of transport typically fail. Dozens of mission organisations have worked with MAF over the years to help give remote communities access to the gospel.

From its origins in 1945, MAF has been dedicated to using planes for peace. As a Christian charity, MAF flies not only Christian organisations but a whole range of health workers, NGOs and government officials across 25 developing countries including Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Papua New Guinea and soon-to-be-operational, Liberia.


Notes to editors:

There will be a photo opportunity with Justin Welby and MAF staff at 10.45am, Castle House, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone CT20 2TQ. Please contact PR & External Affairs Manager, Frances Hawley, to arrange  or Emily Shepherd, Canterbury Diocese Director of Communications: 07876 210 446,

Broadcast interviews are available from 11am with the below MAF staff at the Folkestone office (address as above). Please contact Frances Hawley to arrange

Stuart King – one of the founders of MAF, Stuart is a long-time resident of Folkestone, WWII veteran engineer and early pioneer of MAF’s work in Africa.

Ruth Whitaker – Chief Executive at MAF UK. Ruth is a former volunteer with MAF with a background in aeronautical engineering.

Max Gove – retiring pilot and development manager. Max has over 40 years’ experience working with MAF and has developed the new Liberia programme which is expected to become operational over summer 2015.