BY ELIZABETH TRAILL
Constance Hornby was a pioneer missionary in south western Uganda in the early part of the twentieth century. Christian had begun to take root in 1910 as the result of the work of Baganda missionaries who had only just received the gospel themselves. This was followed up by Dr Len Sharp and Dr Algie Stanley-Smith whose focus was mainly on medical work They brought in a young missionary they had met at Mengo Hospital in 1922, called Constance, to assist them. However she soon discovered a special calling which took her in a different direction.
Early missionary outreach has often focused on medical and educational work and the evangelising of Kigezi in south west Uganda was no exception. However Constance Hornby brought a unique edge to the work because she targeted girls. From the beginning she took numerous trips into villages deep in the bush to search out promising girls and persuade their fathers to let them come to school. Most parents did not consider the education of a girls as very important so it is a tribute to her belief in God’s call that she was so successful in bring the girls to Kabale for education. This was her life’s work and although she retired in 1956 she continued to live in Kigezi until she died in 1972.
Uganda has a high instance of well educated women who take part in all walks of social, political, religious and academic life. Of women who use the advantage they have to benefit the community and their families and who see Christianity as forming the mainspring for their lives. This, I think is a tribute to pioneers like Constance who recognised that educating a girl is not a waste of time and money, but an investment in the future.
All through her life Constance felt a strong sense of God’s call and guidance in her life. She was supported by The Church Missionary Society and The Girls’ Friendly Society and she reported regularly to them both, but through prayer and bible study she kept in touch with her only true support her heavenly Father.
All profits from the sales of this book are devoted to the “Constance Hornby Education Fund” for girls in Kigezi with special educational needs.
The book can be obtained by post from
Rev Josie Midwinter
32 Barnes Close
Didcot OX11 8JN
Cost £8.99 plus £3 postage = £11.99
cheques made payable to J. Midwinter