Tribute to A Rocha International staff in fatal accident in South Africa

18 November 2019
Comments 15
Category Blog, Comment, FrontPage
18 November 2019, Comments 15

Many longer standing A Rocha UK supporters will by now have heard the very sad news from A Rocha International that last month Peter and Miranda Harris, co-founders of A Rocha, and Chris Naylor, A Rocha International CEO, together with his wife Susanna, were involved in a horrific car accident in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Miranda, Chris and Susanna did not survive. Peter is undergoing treatment in a local hospital and is in a stable condition.

From the work Peter and Miranda started in Portugal in the mid-1980s has come a unique network of Christian conservation organisations in 21 countries. Chris and Susanna established the extraordinary work of A Rocha Lebanon before Chris took over the helm of A Rocha International, facilitating the growth and work of the whole network.

Our thoughts and fervent prayers are with the Harris and Naylor families at this heartbreaking time, and for the recovery of Peter Harris.

Andy Atkins, CEO, A Rocha UK said, “The whole A Rocha family is grieving. Miranda, Peter and Chris have been absolute pioneers as Christians in nature conservation. They have inspired countless people to act on the environment and integrate care for creation into their Christian lives – a message that has never been more important. And to many hundreds of people they have also been personal mentors, wise counsellors, caring friends, and close colleagues. Many many people around the world, including all of us at A Rocha UK, will feel their loss deeply – Andy Atkins, CEO, A Rocha UK.

funeral thanksgiving service was held on 18 November to celebrate the life and faith of Chris and Susanna Naylor. For those who were unable to attend in person, a video recording of the service is now available to watch via theBurford Church website.

The Harris family will hold a service of thanksgiving for Miranda’s life at 2pm on 14 December at St Aldates Church, Oxford.

Please see here for further updates and link to the A Rocha International press release.

15 responses on “Tribute to A Rocha International staff in fatal accident in South Africa

  1. David Grieve says:

    Jane and I are so sorry to hear this tragic news, and send our prayers and deep condolences to the families. I preceded Peter as curate at Upton St Mary’s (as it was then styled) and we only met Peter and Miranda briefly when they came to view the Church flat they would inherit from us. But we have followed their progress with interest. All who knew and loved them can draw Hope from the Lord who suffered, died and rose to the life of eternity. And he prays for us.

  2. Stephanie Chagas-Bijl says:

    So very sad. My condolences to all the A Rocha team and their families.
    Be assured of the prayers of the rest of the Christian community.
    If we ever needed prophetic voices to speak into environmental issues it is now.
    May the fruits of their work live on and may God bring life and hope out of such tragic circumstances.

  3. Tony Burdon says:

    Deeply saddened to hear about this tragic accident in South Africa. I knew Peter when he was in training at Trinity College Bristol, where he acted as CPAS rep. I can also recall the warmth of hospitality which I received from Peter & Miranda on my visits to Bristol. It is many years since we were last in touch, but I would want to assure Peter and all those involved of my love and prayers at this time. Today is All Saints Day and we celebrate the hope we share with all God’s saints through our risen Lord Jesus.

  4. Sue Derrig says:

    We knew Peter and Miranda when they were at St Mary’s Upton and have supported Arocha from the start. Such a shock and sadness, praying for Peter, the families of both families and the Arocha family.

  5. Terry and Valerie Thorpe says:

    We are finding it difficult to come to terms with such a tragic loss of talented people whose lives were committed to the extension of God’s kingdom around the world. Having first learned of the accident in the Daily Telegraph were soon discovered the extent of the effects on so many of our friends – in Oxford, Shropshire and Weston-super-Mare to name just a few. Our prayers go to all we know who are deeply saddened.

  6. Sue Piper says:

    Oh so sad. May
    God turn it to His glory. We met Peter and Miranda years ago when they started A Rocha in Portugal. Such a lovely couple. May
    Peter and family be comforted at this time.
    I am encouraging our church to be Eco and use the excellent survey that A Rocha have produced. I encourage others to do this too

  7. Peter and Barbara Jordan says:

    We were very sad to hear this news. We were in Liverpool when Peter and Miranda were beginning to explore the possibilities of beginning A Rocha in Portugal. After they had visited our church St John Chrysostoms, Everton on several occasions it was suggested we travel to Portugal. It was a very memorable trip for 8 of us. We celebrated our wedding anniversary while there and Miranda insisted on giving us a beautiful casserole dish – Porches Algarve 92 – still doing well.
    We are praying for Peter’s recovery and for the whole family. We thank God for Peter and Miranda and their family; for the wonderful couple they were; for all they achieved in God’s service and for their care for His world and for their love and hospitality shared with so many people. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

  8. Dan Young says:

    I met Peter and Miranda when their older daughter Jo was a pupil at Dean Close School. I am so sorry to hear of this tragic accident and we are praying for all who have been bereaved or injured by it.

  9. Bernard Gallivan says:

    Bernie, Jan, met Peter and Mirander when Peter was serving as a Curate at St.Mary’s Upton. They were instrumental in bringing us both to a living faith in the Lord Jesus.. All at our church who knew them are devastated by the recent news. Our deepest condolences to both families at this most dificult time. We pray for Peter and the driver to recover and the the presence of the Risen Lord be with both familes.

  10. Valerie Bogle says:

    I cannot express the very deep distress I feel for dear Peter, Jo., Esther., Jem and Beth and their families at this very sad time for each one of them. I have loved and supported Peter and Miranda for many years and back in 1995 Peter married my late husband and myself at Cruzinha, Miranda made our wedding cake and Beth was our bridesmaid, they made it such a special time. I pray that the God of all comfort will enfold them in His loving arms.
    I too send my deepest sympathy to the children of Chris and Susannah, I met Chris a few years ago in Sandbach and he has kept in touch.
    We have all lost some wonderful people who worked hard to make our world a lovelier place. Val Bogle

  11. Graeme Skinner says:

    Heartbroken to hear this news. Miranda and Peter have been an inspiration to so many (I was vicar in Upton 2006-2018). May God be with the families in loss and recovery.

  12. Jenny Tarbox says:

    On behalf of a shocked and saddened Burford Mission Committee we send much love and prayers to the Naylor and Harris families and A Rocha International.
    Chris encouraged us to embrace a global view and was an inspirational and decisive member of our mission committee.
    Faithfully, Peter and Miranda’s prayer letters kept us fully informed of the dedicated work of A Rocha across the world, to preserve our infinite and amazing God given creation.
    Jenny Tarbox – committee chairperson.

  13. I was deeply saddened to hear this news. I met Chris and Susanna and their wonderful children when they left Lebanon, and we stayed in touch. They were an inspiring family and through them I have learned about the work of A Rocha. Chris and Susanna were wise, caring, compassionate and generous. They loved their three childreen deeply and were proud of each of them. We are holding their family in prayer, as well as praying for Peter and all of Miranda’s loved ones.

  14. Cath candish says:

    When I was about 8, Miranda helped at a bible camp near us and prayed with my little sister who accidentally invited ‘dear Miranda’ to ‘come and live in my heart’. Ever since, people have not stopped inviting dear Miranda into their hearts. Let her and the Naylors’ legacy be hearts turned towards Christ and attentions turned to the church’s task of caring for the earth. Andy and the Arocha UK team, my prayers for you at this extraordinarily painful, extraordinary time. May God give you vision and courage to help us fulfill our calling as church.

  15. Celia Bullerwell says:

    My sincere prayers and heartfelt condolences go out to the Naylor and Harris families – such wonderful people doing admirable work in caring for God’s world.
    My late husband and I met Peter and Miranda and their family when we were on our honeymoon in the Algarve in October 1983, and we were their first visitors at A Rocha. I shall treasure a lovely photogragh I have of them all (except Beth) . My prayers will be ongoing for Peter’s and the driver’s recovery .
    I am sorry that I won’t be able to come to Miranda’s memorial service on Saturday 14th December as I am committed to singing in our choral society’s concert that evening and I live in Redhill near Holy Trinity church whose congregation support the Harris family as their missionaries.