AcousticSunday@The MeetingPlace with Peter Hagenbuch

Come along and enjoy a short, informal time of worship @ the Meeting Place on the 3rd December at 6.30pm. The theme is 'Road less Travelled'. 

Our invited guest is Peter Hagenbuch. Peter plays in a bluegrass band called Albakirkie who regularly play at festivals, clubs and churches. 

Peter was born in Cambridge in 1954 and moved to Canterbury when he was 10. He started playing guitar when he was 12 and learned to fingerpick, playing songs by Ralph McTell, Al Stewart, Michael Chapman and others. In his 20s he started to play mandolin and flatpicking bluegrass guitar.

At university he got interested in pig breeding and went on to work on pig farms in Stoke Mandeville and Switzerland then with the Meat and Livestock Commission in Bletchley. Around this time, he became treasurer of Milton Keynes Guide Dogs. As the group were discussing fundraising ideas Peter remembered being inspired as a teenager, reading about a 50-mile walk in the Kentish Gazette, from Margate to London. He did his first 50-mile walk from London to Milton Keynes in 1982, raising £159 for Guide Dogs and a deaf charity – his sister has two deaf children. He got married in 1983 and in 1986 accepted a job with a chicken breeding company and moved to Uphall in West Lothian.

Peter and Wendy have two daughters. The oldest runs a cat sitting business called Team Feline. The second has cerebral palsy. Through her he has been involved with disability sport, especially the game of boccia, which is a Paralympic sport – Peter is a qualified referee.

He was brought up in the church but I stopped attending when he left school and home. Nearly twenty years later he returned to the church and came to faith at the age of 37, on Easter Day 1992.

 In 2005 he went to Honduras for two weeks with the Christian charity Tearfund on their Transform Programme. The idea is that you spend time in a developing country and are transformed by the experience – it changes your outlook on life. After he returned from Honduras he started sponsoring a child from Honduras with the charity Compassion. Since then he has sponsored many other children. Peter currently sponsors 29 children.

His trip to Honduras was the start of a Latin American adventure which took him back to Honduras, then to the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Brazil. He’s also been to India and Kenya. All these trips were in connection with child sponsorship, charities and projects that he supports.

Peter continues to do 50-mile walks, nearly every year. This year will be his 29th 50-mile walk and has raised around £50,000 for various charities from these walks.

Hope to see you on the 3rd!

Louise Mairs