Saturday, 4 February 2012

New avenues of support for BGC

The following is a letter to friends of Bishop Gwynne College we sent out recently.  We are happy that the college is prospering under its new principal and is being well supported by a band of prayer partners in five continents, but we are very keen to expand the work.  So this is an appeal for new avenues of support to help the college expand and build on its recent successes.
If anyone reading this would like more information about BGC, or to get on the list for updates and information, and/or become a prayer partner then sign up at or go to our website.

We have not been able to get back to Juba personally since June last year because of family commitments, but more especially Tina's broken ankle sustained on the eve of our departure in October. We are pleased to say it is getting on fine, but Trevor will be travelling to Juba alone on 20th February.

Dear Friend,
As an international consultant for Bishop Gwynne College, Juba, I am seeking further sources of income for the college.  If you have given in the past, or are giving now, you will already know the vital role the college plays in the life of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan and the new nation of South Sudan. We have alumni from north of the new border and hope that, when the political situation permits, we can once again welcome students from the whole of Sudan.

Bishop Gwynne College provides much needed training and formation for able students from the ECS and other churches. These are all serving pastors and lay workers from many corners of South Sudan.  We are affiliated to St Paul's University, Limuru, Kenya and run their diploma course, augmenting it with courses relevant to the needs of South Sudan such as agriculture, conflict resolution, church administration and leadership etc. The course is very demanding for the students, most of whom have not had proper schooling in the past.  They are very dedicated and hard-working.  However, the college runs on a shoestring.

  • The accommodation is in dormitories with little space for more than a bed. The college teaching facilities consist of two rooms, one of which also houses the library and one of which is used for eating and worship as well.
  • Food is very basic indeed. In contrast to the past, we do provide three meals a day but they are not large or varied enough to satisfy most appetites. Less basic food would mean students are happier, healthier and learn better, but the current budget doesn't allow for more.
  • All the students have health needs.  Although we do our best we cannot prevent repeated bouts of malaria and typhoid (as well as other debilitating but treatable illnesses many of which have contracted before the students arrive). We have to take responsibility for all the health needs of the students and staff - there is no state health scheme of course.
  • None of the students have any personal income. They are frequently unpaid pastors and they and their families rely on what they can grow. While they are in college they are away from home, leaving the food production to spouses and relatives. Sometimes they have been the breadwinners for not only their own families, but parents and other relatives who cannot work themselves.
  • The dioceses are technically responsible for the student fees and the cost of getting to and from the college from their homes which often constitute more than one day's travelling.  The fees are currently US$800 which does not cover the cost of maintaining the student in board, lodging and medicine, and certainly does not extend to what it costs to pay and accommodate staff, cooks, security guards etc.  We have students who come with debt.  While we work hard at trying to ensure the bishops are responsible for seeing to the needs of their students, rarely are they in a position to do so without outside help. (We frequently point out that the means for maintaining the students is there if the land and cattle are used to raise cash - but the communities are not culturally inclined to do that, yet. The next generation will probably begin to accept this, but, for the present, we are working, through our students and elsewhere, to help educate the people and invest in it. We are just beginning - we have a long way to go.)
  • We have a need to provide more accommodation and teaching so that the college can expand.  This will require another dormitory and shower/toilet block, a multi-purpose chapel for worship, teaching and administration, houses for staff and other ancillary buildings. It will require funds for salaries, food and medicine.  We would also like to to continue to expand the library and provide a generator so that students can study in the evenings when the town power is down (which is more often than not, given the present political situation).
Therefore we are looking for more grants and donations for the expansion of the college.  We are enormously grateful to all our past and present supporters who have helped us get the college back in business since its suspension in 2009, but we want to build on this.  

So I would be delighted for any suggestions of people who would like to invest in the important work of our college - whether it be for students, members of staff or building projects.  If you can help in any way please contact me on
Thank you.
Yours in hope,

Revd. Canon Trevor Stubbs MA, AKC.

International consultant
(One time Interim Administrator)
Bishop Gwynne College, PO Box 110, JUBA, South Sudan

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