19th June 2023


Stansted Airport Watch (SAW) Patron Terry Waite has been appointed Knight Commander of the Order of  St Michael and St George (KCMG) in the King’s first birthday honours list. The appointment recognises Sir Terry’s many years of charitable and humanitarian work.

As a Church of England envoy, Terry Waite had travelled to Lebanon in January 1987 in an attempt to secure the release of four hostages, including the journalist John McCarthy, whose family were from Broxted. Terry Waite was then himself kidnapped and held captive by Islamic Jihad terrorists until November 1991. He was kept in solitary confinement, forced to put a blindfold on when anybody came into the room, faced a mock execution and was beaten.

Sir Terry has long been a stalwart supporter of Stop Stansted Expansion, and then Stansted Airport Watch, despite living more than 30 miles away, in Suffolk.  On becoming SSE Patron, in September 2003, he explained the reasons for his passionate support for the campaign:

“When I first heard of the proposals for the expansion of Stansted Airport, I was amazed given the fact that three independent inspectors had completely ruled out any further development. The expansion of Stansted would undoubtedly mean that the total character of the area surrounding Stansted would be entirely changed – and very much for the worse.”

“Contrary to what has been reported,” he continued, “I do not live adjacent to the airport and therefore would not be personally directly affected.  However, it is my firm belief that over time our countryside and rural communities are being ravaged and we will all lose out in the long term as a result.”

Age 84, Sir Terry is still our Patron today. The KCMG recognises service in a foreign country or in relation to Foreign and Commonwealth affairs. Upon receiving his honour, Sir Terry commented:

“I suppose it’s a peak, really. I was given an MBE many years ago and then I got a CBE several years afterwards. Now this is the next one up, so to speak.  I think I’ve been very fortunate to get this because there are many other people who are deserving of honours who don’t get mentioned.”

SAW Chairman Brian Ross commented:

“We are tremendously proud to have Sir Terry as our Patron and I was delighted to learn that he has been awarded a knighthood.  His unwavering support for our campaign over a period of 20 years has been inspirational.”


A higher quality version of the photograph shown is available from SAW Campaign Office upon request: T 01279 870558; info@stanstedairportwatch.com

Campaigning to ensure Stansted Airport's authorised operations stay below harmful limits