The Very Revd. Andris Abakuks (Dean) is a mathematician and statistician by profession; he studied mathematics at the University of Cambridge and received a doctorate from the University of Sussex. From 1973 he was a Lecturer in Statistics and is now a Visiting Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London.
He has been an active member of the Latvian community; from 1985 to 1993 he was chairman of the Latvian National Council in Great Britain.
From 1995 to 2003 he studied theology at King’s College, University of London, obtaining an MA in Systematic Theology. In 2002 he was ordained as a pastor and in 2007 elected Dean of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Great Britain.
The Revd. Daira Vavere
The Revd. Viesturs Vāvere was born in Latvia on 4 March 1958. He was a pupil at Riga Middle School No.4 and went on to study at the Latvian Agricultural Academy, in the Faculty of Veterinary Studies. Later he worked as a veterinary surgeon on various collective farms, also at the Riga Zoological Gardens. In 1988 he began to study at the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church’s Theological Seminary. At the same time, he joined the Latvian Movement for National Independence.
On 8 July 1990, he was ordained as an assistant pastor. He was sent by the Lutheran Consistory to begin his ministry in the congregations of Madona, Laudona, Kalsnava and Cesvaine. At the same time he was studying theology at the revived Faculty of Theology at the University of Latvia, from which he graduated in 1994, after which he was ordained as a pastor. For many years he was Dean of the Madona district and later pastor of St John’s congregation in Cēsis.
He had been a member of the Latvian Home Guard in Riga, then in Cesis, later serving as chaplain to a number of Home Guard battalions.
Since 1 May 2008, he has been working as a pastor in the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Great Britain, as pastor to the congregations of the Midlands and the East of England. He has a wife, Daira, and a daughter Katrīne.
The Revd. Elīza Zikmane is pastor of the United London Latvian Lutheran Congregation, also of the West of England and Wales congregation. She was born in Latvia, in the town of Jelgava, but since 2002 she has been living and serving the Church in England.
Education. She completed her school studies as a pupil at the J.Rozentals Middle School of Art in Riga. From 1993 to 1995 she studied Religious Art at the Latvian Christian Academy; afterwards she went on to study at the Faculty of Theology, at the University of Latvia, where in the year 2000 she was awarded a B.A. degree in Theology and Religious Studies. In 2010 she was awarded an MA in Pastoral Theology from Heythrop College, University of London.
Further educational studies. Training courses for evangelists organised by the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church (1993-1995) and work management courses for deacons (1997-2002).
Working life. From 1996 to 2002, she was an evangelist for the Latvian Lutheran Church in the Deanery of Jelgava. From 2000 to 2002 she was a leading deacon at St Anne’s Evangelical Lutheran church in Jelgava, coordinating the work of deacons in the Deanery of Jelgava. Since 2002 she has been serving the United London Latvian Lutheran Congregation and the West of England and Wales Congregation. Since her ordination in 2004 as a pastor in the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad, she has become pastor of these congregations.
Community work. Since 2004 she has been a member of both the Latvian National Council and the Baltic Council in Great Britain. She has also been a member of the Lutheran Council in Great Britain since 2005.