Kendall, Richard Elliott
1915-1992; e.m. 1939

Missionary in China and Africa, born in Manchester on 19 December 1915. After training at Handsworth College, he began his ministry among the Miao people in South West China in 1939, living through the bombing of Kunming during the Sino-Japanese War. He was eventually deported by the Communist regime in 1951, but only after gaining the release of his colleague Vernon Stones, who had been charged, like him, with espionage. From 1957 to 1967 he served in post-Mau Mau Kenya, was the last Chairman of the Kenya District and played a key role in the preparations for autonomy. Back in England he was Africa and Caribbean Secretary of the Conference of British Missionary Societies 1967-1976 and then Director of the British Council of Churches Community and Race Relations Unit. He advocated the World Council of Churches' controversial Programme to Combat Racism and in retirement worked for the abolition of Apartheid in South Africa. He sought to persuade the British Churches to take ethical investment seriously and was the founder of the Ethical Investment Research and Information Service. He wrote several books on China, Africa and race relations and his End of an Era (1978) was a prophetic work on mission in Africa. He died at Witney on 15 November 1992.

  • Methodist Recorder, 15 & 22 Nov. 1992