“I believe in my marriage vows, and am firm in my commitment to my wife.”
Christopher is a British citizen, 62 years old, father of three and grandfather of two. He was born in Brighton, and married for 39 years to Andrea, who passed away on New Year’s Day 2010 after battling multiple sclerosis for over 20 years. During that time, Christopher was her principal carer, their children and family, while also working for the Probation Service, within the Community Service team.
Christopher shares his home with his daughters, Tara and Clare, and his beautiful granddaughter, Ebony.
They designed the house to cater for the care of Andrea in 2006, which now, though partitioned into three living areas, is in fact one house. All three adults have their own private space, divided by one room, but they are all accessible to each other. A little quirky but it works very well for them.
After a year spent in a state of adjustment, with lots of support from his family, Christopher joined an
organisation "GVI – Global Vision International" and signed up for a year of volunteering in Kenya. The role involved teaching in a slum near Mombasa, in a place called Bombolulu.
This was a life-changing experience in many ways. A young woman he came into contact with whilst
carrying out this work was to change his life even more. Christopher had no intention of remarrying – he had settled in to teach English to the most enthusiastic bunch of children one could imagine, when he met Christine – funny, happy, intelligent and with a strong warm heart.
Christine has a 6-year old son, Michael, who is an adorable little bundle of trouble. The birth father has never been in Michael’s life and knowledge of his whereabouts is unknown. Christine and Christopher became friends, then more. In August 2011 they married in Bombolulu.
Christopher’s children, grandchildren and friends came to Kenya for the wedding along with all the
children from the two local schools, 200 local friends and volunteers ... it was a wonderful wedding.
Christopher carried on with teaching, until he fell ill and was advised to return to the UK. After treatment, he returned to Kenya in the hope of bringing Christine and Michael home with him.
At some expense they engaged UK VISA and IMMIGRATION to prepare the visa application which was presented in Nairobi in January 2012. However, Christine was diagnosed with TB and thus followed six months of treatment. While the family is now blessed - Christine has been given the all clear and is in good health - they face devastation under the new rules, as their new application in August 2012, was refused.
Christopher works for Enara Community Care as a domiciliary care worker. He cares for the elderly in their homes, starting work at 6.45am and sometimes until as late as 9pm. His annual salary is c£15,500 which, combined with a pension of £3,746 from Probation Service, gives him an annual income of £19,246.
He is considering employing a local solicitor who has indicated there is a case for appeal with fees over £4,500. Christopher’s savings are being depleted by having to finance life in Kenya for his wife and stepson, maintaining his life here and the additional cost of maintaining regular contact with his wife.
Christopher believes in his marriage vows and is firm in his commitment to his wife. He is lucky to have a supporting family and friends who are praying for Christopher to be reunited with Christine and Michael.
Like other BritCits, Christopher is realistic about why we have immigration rules; but he feels that the draconian way these have been imposed, without regional income tolerances or respect for British citizens being taken into consideration is just plain unfair.
He believes the rules brought in make a mockery of the Conservative Party’s manifesto commitment:
“Strong families are the bedrock of a strong society. They provide the stability and love we need to flourish as human beings, and the relationships they foster are the foundation on which society is built – Britain’s families will get our full backing across all our policies … We need good, strong families to help our society work well. We will support families to stay together.”