Thursday, 21 January 2010

Preparing for Reopening

We are going through exciting times at New Bishop Gwynne College!
On 30th January the college is due to re-open. Lots of last minute construction and cleaning is happening. We still don't have the septic tank completed. This is taking a long time - it is about two and a half times as deep as the average man - all dug by hand! A phenomenal feat. When it is finished a water tank for fresh water will be erected to ensure a continual supply. The town electricity is due to be reinstated any day. This should make a difference given that town power is now much more consistent than it has been.
Tina is now shelving the books in the catalogued order but this is a never ending task. She is missing her kind volunteer from Save the Children whose husband has now been relocated to Addis Abba.
The returning students are due to arrive a week on Saturday, together with two who are starting an English course that Tina is running. Please pray for them and Simon Lual Bang (Old Testament and African Church History), Daniela Rapisarda (New Testament and Systematic Theology), Robin Denney (Agriculture), Trevor (Homiletics and Anglicanism) and Tina (English). Other subjects we will share as they come up.

We are delighted to report that the Archbishop of Canterbury has a awarded us £10,000 towards the first phase of the development of the new site. Together with the money in the Good Books Fund this will get us going. (Although the whole first phase will require £66,000!) We are also pleased to hear that things are afoot in the Diocese of Salisbury to support us - we will report more as we are able. So we are approaching the development of the new site with a confidence we did not have at the beginning of the year.

The three phases are currently planned as:
PHASE 1. Fencing and clearing, repairs to existing buildings, the introduction of water and the installation of toilets estimated to cost around £66,000. (This will make the site usable in combination with present college building).
PHASE 2. A multipurpose chapel, additional dormitories, and two staff houses - £160,000
PHASE 3. A three story block to house teaching suites, a separate library and two more staff houses - £137,000
However, now we are getting the finances sorted locally, we can certainly report that it would be unlikely, unless conditions change very radically (always a possibility here of course!), that the college will never have to seek running costs from overseas. All the giving from overseas will go into developing and expanding the college and ensuring a growing investment base.

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