Due to the mountainous nature of Papua New Guinea all but very local travel is made by air and the limitations and expense of travel mean that students must live on-campus with their families. Family life is centred around the wind-house which is the coolest way to spend the day but sleeping accommodation and toilet facilities are provided in small chalets.
Most of the student houses at Newton College are in great need of refurbishment and nearly all need significant repair, but the primary need is to provide them with clean water from rainwater tanks and to reconnect toilets to septic tanks. The sinking of a new bore earlier this year will also supplement the surface water provision.
It will cost around PGK 2,000 (around £400) to install a water tank between every two student houses and the 2024 Bishop’s Lent Appeal aims to raise to raise enough to provide twenty-five tanks between fifty student homes.
The year 2023 will have a special place in the history of Newton Theological College; as, of 31 December, the college will be taken up into a larger entity called “The Modawa Institute of Higher Education” that will bring together Newton College with the St Margaret’s School of Nursing, and a new school, the “David Hand School of Teaching”.
The Provincial Council of the Anglican Church of PNG has been considering this important initiative over the past two to three years and in November passed the enabling Canon.
The Principal of Newton College, Archbishop Jeffrey Driver, writes: “Theological education should never simply be an academic abstraction, and in places like Papua New Guinea there must be a strong link between the disciplines of theology and the needs of community development. This means that Newton College has been consistently involved with a range of practical programmes in areas like health and adult literacy.”
The Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher, writes: “Your donations and fundraising will enable ordinands and their families to thrive, so supporting the next generation of Christian leaders in Papua New Guinea to have the best possible start with their training.”
Lent Appeal resources will be available early in the New Year.