Christopher Charles, 63, from the East Grinstead Ward, has been called to serve as an Area Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Charles returned with his wife, Rashida, from the Greece Athens Mission in July 2012, where they had been overseeing the work performed by missionaries serving in Greece and Cyprus.
Serving as a mission president, Elder Charles commented that he and his wife were totally conscious of the sacrifice parents of these missionaries make as they send and support their sons and daughters on their missions. Consequently, they made the well-being of these treasured children their greatest priority.
Elder Charles, born in North London of Cypriot parentage, was a convert to the Church. As a young boy with a father who was a Jehovah’s Witness and a mother who was Greek Orthodox, he always had a firm conviction that God was real. His quest to find the truth started at age eight when he bought a Bible with his own pocket money and it fell open to the passage in Matthew 24 relating how the Saviour would come again. He knew then this passage would be fulfilled one day but it took another 16 years of searching and confusion before missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints contacted he and his wife.
By then he had married Rashida, whose father was Muslim and her mother a member of The Church of Scotland. Elders Woolstenhulme and Erickson taught with such power that Elder and Sister Charles were baptized within four weeks in March 1975.
As an Area Seventy, Elder Charles's stewardship currently includes ten countries in the Greece Athens, Adriatic North and Adriatic South Missions, although he is also assigned various responsibilities in the rest of the Europe Area. Those called to serve as an Area Seventy are required to give part-time voluntary Church service within their assigned geographic areas while supporting area presidencies in international areas.
Retired after almost forty years in the banking and financial services industry, Elder Charles and his wife feel blessed and ready to continue their service to the Lord.'