Hidden Treasure

A Memoir

Patricia Chater



Patricia Chater wrote this account of her life from the unique position of an English woman who became absorbed into a religious community when she joined the caring and spiritual church of St Francis in Zimbabwe in the early 1960s. In a sympathetic, understated and matter-of-fact manner, she describes what it meant for the members of the community to struggle for liberation in their own land and then to face the challenges of the post-independence years. Her memoir is a contribution to the story of Zimbabwe, showing how national events impact on one particular place and on one particular group of people.


... to read Patricia Chater is to explore the beginnings of African nationalism... It is to experience from within the intense emotions and spiritual experience which gave rise to an African church. It is to discover the manifold obstacles to African initiative and enterprise under Rhodesian segregation. - British Zimbabwe Society


Patricia Chater came out to Zimbabwe in 1952 and never left. She lived with the community of St Francis of Assisi in Rusape where she worked with the African sisters.