These images and audio were recorded with Dr. Peter Forsaith in the chapel on Mother's Day, Sunday the 14th of March 2021.
In 1817, John Williams and his wife, Mary Chawner Williams, voyaged to the Society Islands, a group of islands that included Tahiti, accompanied by William Ellis and his wife. John and Mary established their first missionary post on the island of Raiatea. From there, they visited a number of the Polynesian island chains, sometimes with Mr and Mrs Ellis and other London Missionary Society representatives. Landing on Aitutaki in 1821, they used Tahitian converts to carry their message to the Cook islanders. One island in this group, Rarotonga (Captain John Dibbs of the colonial schooner Endeavour in August 1823 was the first European to sight the islands, with Rev. Williams on board), rises out of the sea as jungle-covered mountains of orange soil ringed by coral reef and turquoise lagoon; Williams became fascinated by it. John and Mary had ten children, but only three survived to adulthood. The Williamses became the first missionary family to visit Samoa.