Author: Ian Drew

Patteson's Cross, Nukapu Island

Remembering Patteson – Diocese of Temotu

A TRUE PATHFINDER IN MELANESIA: BISHOP JOHN COLERIDGE PATTESON

Patteson's Cross, Nukapu Island
Patteson’s Cross, Nukapu Island

This article is written as a contribution to the 150th Anniversary Celebration of the death of John Coleridge Patteson.

It presents a new Melanesian perspective in a unique and noble missionary bishop, John C. Patteson who was killed on Nukapu Island on 20th September 1871.

Some accounts say that a native of the Island, Teandule was responsible for Patteson’s death. This happened as a consequence of five young men abducted from Nukapu by labor traffickers.

At a meeting convened by the chiefs of Nukapu concerning the stolen young men, Teandule vowed to kill the first white man to turn up on the shores of Nukapu.

It so happened that Bishop Patteson was the first white man to step ashore from the Southern Cross. Teandule could not renege on his vow but took revenge for the sake of justice.

A theory around the Islands in Melanesia that overshadowed the minds and hearts of Melanesians was that Bishop Patteson had been impersonated by a man who recruited the five from Nukapu to work in Fiji Sugar Plantations. The act of impersonating Patteson caused confusion and betrayal of an innocent man.

Bishop Patteson had enjoyed eleven years of Mission excitements of service among Melanesians from 1855 to 1866 but the next four years (1867 – 1871) were years of tough challenges and conflicts in Melanesia.

Bishop Patteson was already aware of the labour traffic which began in 1867 in Melanesia prior to his last missionary journey in 1871. He knew perfectly well that in Melanesia was tension due to such savage practice where ships seized Melanesians and brought them to Fiji and Queensland. During the years of labour traffic, it was difficult to inject a friendly atmosphere among the natives. Bishop Patteson met his death in that critical situation.

The Martyrs' Pulpit, Exeter Cathedral
The Martyrs’ Pulpit, Exeter Cathedral

Bishop John C. Patteson we believe had certainly found a true path to journey to God. He confidently focused on this mission goal in the days of his last episcopal visit to Melanesia. He had willed in himself a strong passion out of love for Melanesia to give up his own life willingly for them.

What Bishop John Coleridge Patteson means to Melanesia?

There could be more to say about Bishop Patteson as a great man, but this article may only dwell on a few things that express how we value him. He is honored for what he has done for lives of people in Melanesia. Today in Melanesia there is a set time for celebration of Patteson’s life, work and death. People of Melanesia have to do this annually because they have looked upon him as their spiritual hero and icon for generations now and in the future. He is an inspiring figure for many people both in Melanesia and the Pacific Islands.

We can tell others and the world that through the glorious life and death of Bishop Patteson, he made “Unknown” Melanesia known to the rest of the world. He made Melanesia of different ethnic groupings and different color become one people in Christ with the people of Maori, Pakeha, New Zealand, Australia, England and the rest of the world. He led Melanesia into a new family of God which we continue to be part of today.

This has driven us to believe that in Christ, Bishop Patteson is our saviour and peace maker. His death with others ended the enforced labour trade by an Act of Parliament passed in England. His death in Christ has reconciled us to God and born in us a new hope in Jesus Christ. He is a gift to us and even to the whole Pacific Islands, and there is nothing we can give back in return to his family and people of England. But we believe that he has been fully rewarded by God our heavenly Father.

How do we Melanesians come to know Bishop John Coleridge Patteson and his ministry?

It took years to come to know more about Bishop John C Patteson and his ministry. To pass information by word of mouth is fearful approach or can be sensitive. So there has never any attempt to pass on by word of mouth the knowledge of Bishop Patteson’s death or ministry. Because according to Melanesian culture such is sacred and secret and does not for Tom, Dick and Harry to know about.

The widespread knowledge about him was delayed and took about eight decades before Melanesians begin to learn of him in more detail. However, the only possible means of widespread knowledge about him was through reports, journals, diaries, letters attributed to Bishop John C Patteson, Southern Cross Logs and other documents.

Through such materials, they were able to learn more of the inspiring attitudes of Bishop Patteson and his vitally important qualities of sharing, smiling, exchange of names and simple gifts, and accepting Melanesians with their good customs and cultures.

He came among Melanesians not only as bishop, but as a helping friend. He came to them in a personal way of interaction with chiefs, young men and women, by speaking and teaching in many different Melanesian languages and touching their hearts through culture and power of the gospel. His gentle presence and friendly manners in smiling and approach to them as learned from readings express a sincere love, patience and true way of service. Also, Bishop John C Patteson made himself equal to Melanesians as he never treated them as inferior to himself.

It is worth mentioning too, that there are lots of establishments dedicated to Bishop Patteson such as chapels or schools in Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. There are already a large number of secular and theological institutions that accommodate ordained, lay men and women and youth, drawn not only from Anglican members but from other church members and islands within at least the four large nations of the Pacific.

The purpose of these mission development activities and programmes is to empower and build up better citizens for our countries and God’s Kingdom.  Our young people are being empowered in the values they have for their own lives, family, community and nations.

From these development activities, the physical, social, spiritual, political, economic and leadership components of the Melanesians countries are supported. It gives a sense of pride as evidenced today that in the different institutions we have produced great men and women leaders to suit all walks of life, such as priests, bishops, catechists, scholars, lawyers, doctors, politicians, governor generals, prime ministers, captains, engineers, carpenters, brothers, sisters etc.

At the moment, a major Anglican Church of Melanesia development project is the “John Coleridge Patteson University” that should be established on an already identified land on Guadalcanal Island.

John Coleridge Patteson University

In Temotu, where Bishop John Coleridge Patteson was martyred, there were already schools, colleges and churches named after the Bishop. Luesalemba, the only college in Temotu is now renamed, John Coleridge Patteson College. A chapel in Luesalo Rural Training Centre was also named after Bishop Patteson. And on the site where Bishop Patteson was martyred will be built a chapel dedicated to him.  This is one of the major projects that the Anglican Church of Melanesia is currently implementing in the Diocese of Temotu.

But yet another particular compelling image is the reality of the concept of the seed of the martyrdom of Bishop John C Patteson.

Some historians have criticised the early policy of conducting missionary activity from the remoteness of Norfolk Island. But we rather take and hold a different view and believe that the small seed of shedding blood and death on Nukapu Island has grown and expanded and has become a large tree, which is now the Church of Melanesia today. That dreadful death is not an incident of regret or curse but rather a demonstration of God’s grace and righteous mercy.

A priest in the Diocese of Temotu

Solomon Islands, Logging

The Effects of Logging in the Solomon Islands

Wednesday 15 September | 7.30pm In the Refectory

Solomon Islands, Logging

Join us for a talk by Christopher John, Minister General of the Society of St Francis. The talk is a pre-recording and we hope that Brother Christopher will join us to answer questions on Zoom.

Funds raised from this talk will go to the charities supported by the Cathedral’s ‘Giving in Faith’ group.

Refreshments will be available.
No charge but an opportunity to give.

Tickets from the Cathedral Welcome Desk, by calling 01244 500 959 or visiting A talk on the effects of logging in the Solomon Islands – Chester Cathedral.

chestercathedral.com

Coffee Mornings Cocoa Nights

Coffee Mornings – Cocoa Nights

Coffee Mornings Cocoa Nights

Thursday 30th September at 10am – 11am (and 7pm – 8pm) BST

On Thursday 30th September at 10am – 11am and repeated again at 7pm – 8pm BST, I will be hosting an online event to share the latest news from the region and from our AGM and Festival Day in the presence of our President, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The event will run for about 45 minutes to 1 hour with a short briefing from me, a time to ask questions, and finish in prayer for our friends in Melanesia.

If you would like to attend and or know others who would like to join us, please let me know and I will send a link. Do also let me know if you have any particular questions / topics you would like me to cover.

Many thanks for your continuing support and I hope to see you online soon.

Katie Drew, MMUK

Sustainable Development Goals

In Focus: Working towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in Melanesia

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

In 2015, all 193 United Nations Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a shared blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all people. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs are an urgent call for action by all countries to address the global challenges we face today. They recognize that eradicating poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies aimed at reducing inequalities, improving access to education, responsible consumption and technological innovation, tackling climate change and preserving our environment. They call for global partnership to achieve peace and prosperity for all people.

For an overview of the 17 SDGs take a look at the graphic below. More detailed information about the SDGs can be found on the website of the United Nations: https://sdgs.un.org/goals.

Sustainable Development Goals

How successful have we been so far in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Melanesia?

In Solomon Islands, the national implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals is set out in the National Development Strategy 2016-2035. In Vanuatu, the government’s efforts to address the SDGs are guided by the Vanuatu 2030 The Peoples Plan.

Both countries regularly reflect on their progress towards achieving the SDGs in voluntary national reviews. According to the latest national reviews and UN statistics, both countries have made significant progress in addressing sustainable development. However, major challenges remain in nearly all areas of development.

SI and Vanuatu Governments have promoted economic growth through investments in agriculture, fisheries, forestry, tourism and mining sectors, leading to sustained growth, lower unemployment and lower poverty rates.

There have been major improvements in addressing health and wellbeing in Melanesia. Maternal, neonatal and child mortality have significantly declined in recent years. Incidences of tuberculosis have become fewer and the risk of dying from non-communicable diseases has decreased. However, there have been worrisome increases in alcohol consumption, the number of obese people, diabetes and incidences of cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, the availability of modern family planning methods to women of reproductive age has declined and child marriage and adolescent birth rates are on the rise. Furthermore, sexual violence against women remains a major challenge.

Access to clean water and sanitation as well as electricity and the Internet has widened in recent years. However, further improvements are urgently needed as over half of the population in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu still lacks access to basic water and sanitation facilities. Only 63 % of the SI population had access to electricity in 2017 and only 13 % access to the Internet (63 % and 26 % in Vanuatu, respectively).

In both countries, the proportion of population suffering from hunger has slightly increased in recent years, to around 13 % in Solomon Islands and 10 % in Vanuatu. Particularly, child malnourishment poses a persistent problem, with roughly one third of all children under 5 years in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu experiencing stunted growth in 2015.

While rates of engagement in primary education in Vanuatu are slightly increasing (to 81 % in 2017), enrolment in primary schools in Solomon Islands is on a worrisome decline (67 % in 2018, compared to 81 % in 2007).

Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have agreed upon comprehensive national policies for climate action and environmental protection, recognizing the role that a healthy environment plays in achieving other SDGs. Governments and NGOs have started to implement climate adaptation, environmental conservation and disaster resilience programmes with support of the international community. Nevertheless, environmental degradation due to local human activities including logging, inappropriate waste disposal and overharvesting, as well as the effects of climate change, in the form of higher sea levels, shifting weather patterns and more frequent extreme events, are on the rise.

To summarize, Melanesia still faces major challenges and will need significant support of the international community to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Especially, the SDGs related to Zero Hunger, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, and Life on Land and Below Water urgently need attention. COVID-19 has slowed down our efforts to tackle the SDGs – therefore, it is even more important that we take action now.  

For reference and further information consult: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/, and https://data.worldbank.org/.

How does MMUK address the Sustainable Development Goals?

MMUK supports the global efforts to achieve the SDGs by partnering with the Anglican Church of Melanesia to bring about positive change in Melanesia. Most of our projects directly address one or more of the SDGs. Additionally, our support for ACoM and its mission enables the implementation of many other projects initiated by ACoM, which aim to achieve a more sustainable future for communities in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu in accordance with the SDGs.

For example, our long-standing cultural exchanges for clergy and students from both, the UK and Solomon Islands, foster global understanding and relationships and directly address SDG 17: Global Partnership for the Goals.

Our support for the renovation of the Pamua Girls’ Dormitory is one example of how we are helping to tackle SDG 4: Quality Education in Melanesia.

The ACoM Environment Observatory project, which we continue to support throughout 2021, raises awareness of environmental issues and enables church-led observations of environmental and climatic change across Solomon Islands. Thereby, it addresses SDG 13: Climate Action, SDG 14: Life below Water, and SDG 15: Life on Land.

In our future communications, we will use the SDG symbols published by the United Nations to show how our work in Melanesia relates to the global efforts to achieve a more equitable and sustainable future for all people.

MMUK Initiatives and matching UN Sustainable Development Goals

SDG13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts; Climate change.

Solomon Islands, Logging

SSF Campaign on the Human Rights Implications of Illegal, Unregulated and Unsustainable Logging

Logging & the Abuse of Human Rights
Logging In Melanesia – A Call To Action

SDG15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use...

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss; Forests.

SDG5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; Gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Marie Schlenker

Relief Panel - Carving - Depicting The Death Of Bishop Patteson

Remembering Patteson – Simon Franklin

For me, gratitude for the life of John Coleridge Patteson started soon after I was lucky enough to become Vicar to Ottery St Mary, and St James & St Anne, Alfington. I can remember the moment when standing in that majestic church of Ottery St Mary, a humble and much loved retired priest, Bill, handed me a little, very old and worn pamphlet for me to read. He said rather fiercely that he wanted it back and for me to look after it well as it was the only copy he knew of. It looked as though it had been produced in the 1950s – with sketchy line drawings of a bearded man in a top hat wading ashore a palm fringed island.

So I began to learn just how privileged I was as priest in charge of Alfington and Ottery, being a successor to this extraordinary man of God. Like so many others, my life has been so deeply enriched in a way Bishop Patteson would have been astonished and when I get to see him, as I hope I do, I will join the long queue to shake his hand or even give him a hug – presuming that his Victorian reserve has been softened by heaven’s graces.

Alfington Church - Patteson

Following up the story of that battered pamphlet ended up for me in 2004 with the experience of retracing his steps as also a priest from Alfington, visiting the Solomon Islands.  My visit happened when ‘the Tensions’ were just finishing and the martyrdom of the seven brothers was still an open and shocking event. It was paradoxically such a privileged moment to be in the Solomons. I became so impressed with the sheer bravery and integrity to the gospel that the Melanesian Brotherhood maintained even when their own friends and brothers had just been brutally murdered. Being shown round by the assistant head brother who had to be held back from going straight to find and bring back the bodies of his friends and brothers with no thought of his own safety: being taken to where the front lines of the fighting and killing had been and then being shown where the brothers had set up camp directly in the line of fire between the two so that their bodies could stop the bullets before they injured others of their countryman: here was evidence of the transformative effects of the gospel seeded by that rather gauche man from East Devon some years before.

One of the most poignant moments for me was holding the Bible given to Patteson by the grateful people of Alfington as he left for the Pacific Islands and to touch the matting he was wrapped in when he had been freshly killed. I understood the power of relics in that moment…

My role in going out there was partly to take a gift from the people of Alfington to present to the Brothers. It was a wooden cross carved by Henry, a local craftsman and church musician from Alfington, who had placed at the centre of this carving a piece of fallen oak from Alfington which would have been growing when Patteson lived there. In return Richard Carter, the then Chaplain to the Brothers, gave me a carving which had hung in the chapel at Tabalia, the Brotherhood Mother house, depicting the handing back of the body of Patteson by the three islanders. What is so poignant is that it was carved from wood from the very island of Nukapu where Patteson took his last breath. There it is now hanging in the church of St James & St Anne in Alfington, facing the pulpit where Patteson preach his first sermon, close to the door where he wept after that first service, with his family, at the privilege of stepping into his vocation as parish priest in Alfington.

Head Br Jude And Simon Franklin - 2004

So out of tragedy comes connection. The blood of this martyr has not separated but bound two cultures, two peoples, two churches together. It has set up a conduit of blessing. And for me as I greet Bishop Patteson with such gratitude when God willing, I meet him, that gratitude will be for the way that Melanesians have taught me about graciousness, generosity and godliness which has become infused into their culture by this one man from East Devon.

Simon Franklin

Coffee Mornings Cocoa Nights

Coffee Mornings – Cocoa Nights

Coffee Mornings Cocoa Nights

Thursday 8th July at 10am – 11am (and 7pm – 8pm) BST

On Thursday 8th July at 10am – 11am and repeated again at 7pm – 8pm BST, I will be hosting an online event to share the latest news from the region. The event will run for about 45 minutes to 1 hour with a short briefing from me, a time to ask questions, and finish in prayer for our friends in Melanesia.

If you would like to attend and or know others who would like to join us, please let me know and I will send a link. Do also let me know if you have any particular questions / topics you would like me to cover.

Many thanks for your continuing support and I hope to see you online soon.

Katie Drew, MMUK

Relay to COP26 Route

Relay to COP26

Relay to COP26 Route

Exeter Events : Tuesday 29th June – Saturday 3rd July

MMUK is joining the Young Christian Climate Network’s Relay to COP26, as it passes through the Diocese of Exeter. YCCN’s relay aims to raise awareness of COP26 and encourage Christians to engage in creation care theology, individually and corporately. In particular they are calling upon the UK Government to:

  • Reinstate the foreign aid budget to pre-COVID levels
  • Secure agreement from rich countries to double the commitment of $100bn a year for climate finance
  • Develop with other governments and international organisations a new regulated climate loss and damage mechanism which not only saves lives but livelihoods.
  • Push for the debts of the world’s poorest countries to be cancelled so they can better confront the climate crisis and other urgent priorities

As the relay passes through Devon, MMUK will be sharing stories of the impact of climate change in Melanesia at a number of events. There will be a welcome service at Exeter Cathedral on 30th June, prayers at Exeter University on 1st July, a live streamed presentation and Q&A from St Matt’s Exeter on 2nd July, and talks at the Devon County Show on 3rd July. Details on all these events, including the link for the online talk, can be found on the Diocese of Exeter’s website Events & Training | Diocese of Exeter (anglican.org) For more details on the relay visit RELAY | YCCN

Relay to COP26 Route
Amanda Parsons - Feniton C of E Primary School with teachers from Melanesia

Remembering Patteson – Amanda Parsons

Amanda Parsons - Feniton C of E Primary School with teachers from Melanesia
Amanda Parsons from Feniton C of E Primary School with teachers from Melanesia

Head of School, Amanda Parsons writes about Feniton Primary School’s, special link to Patteson and Melanesia.

Patteson's Cross, East Devon
Patteson’s Cross, East Devon

Feniton Church of England Primary School in East Devon serves 210 pupils from the village and surrounding area. Like many rural Devon villages, it has a great community, and there is lots going on. Until recently the main A30 Exeter to London road came past the village. Along that road many a driver or passenger may have noticed a tall brick memorial, and many assumed this was a village war memorial. However, it isn’t! It is a clue to a hidden, historical story.

Since 2010 the pupils from Feniton School have studied much about a special international connection between Melanesia and Feniton. Through their study the children learn about the life of Bishop Patteson. The first Bishop of Melanesia, Patteson was martyred in the course of his duties and while he was delivering the word of the Lord. He was dedicated to the abolition of slavery and was offering love and reconciliation to islanders after slave traders had visited the island of Nukapu, Solomon Islands. He tragically lost his life at the hands of angry islanders.

The loss of Patteson’s life created ripples from Melanesia back to Devon, and in order to celebrate his life, the Patteson Memorial was built at the place Patteson last stepped from the parish.

In May 2010 the Archbishop of Melanesia, the Most Revd David Vunagi, visited Feniton School and returned to the Solomon’s with a folder of information which he gave to our partner school in Honiara, Solomon Islands, The Bishop Norman Palmer School. The main purpose of the trip was to reinforce the links between each school and their communities.

Norman Palmer School Sign

When the Otter Valley Federation started in 2012, Tipton St. John C of E Primary School became part of this unique partnership.

The relationship with Norman Palmer School in Honiara has developed through reciprocal visits between school staff and members of the church congregations.

These visits provided opportunities to share good practice and resources. Over several visits, staff from Feniton school delivered training and support to colleagues at Normal Palmer, with a focus on English teaching and exploring school leadership. The staff and pupils of the Solomons shared their culture and experiences of living with the effects of climate change.

On a visit to Feniton School, Brother Jack talked to the children about the effect of climate change on his island. The children were shocked to hear about this firsthand and to discover that Brother Jake’s home island was disappearing beneath the ocean.

A Melanesian Gospel Canoe also features in regular collective worship at school. The children read the Bible from the canoe, a powerful reminder of our shared history and Christian faith.

As an International Cross of Nails School, Feniton promotes peace and reconciliation through Christian collective worship and our curriculum. The story of Bishop Patteson unites our two countries through a shared sense of forgiveness and strong friendship.

Feniton School's Gospel Canoe
Feniton School’s Gospel Canoe

20th September 2021 marks 150 years since Bishop Patteson was killed and the school community is looking forward to marking this significant anniversary.

Head of Feniton School, East Devon, Amanda Parsons

CSM Old Chapel

Community of the Sisters of Melanesia – May 2021 Update

CSM Old Chapel

In May UK Associates of CSM had an online meeting with representatives from the Community of the Sisters of Melanesia. Associates from across the UK joined the online meeting, together with Sr Lovelyn, Sr Annie (Head Sister) Sr Everill (CSM Secretary) Sr Mildred (Elder Sister, Pogo Household) Sr Hallys (Assistant Head Sister) and Sr Susan (student at Bishop Patteson School of Theology). We were grateful to ACoM for providing a meeting room and internet connection and making this online meeting possible. 

The sisters were also joined by Flory (CSM Administrator) and Companion Harrison Tahimana, who is the Architect and Project Manager of the CSM Chapel Project. It was a joy to share in morning prayer and to hear the latest  news from Verana’aso.

During the meeting Jocelyn Squires was admitted as a new UK Associate by Fr Brian Macdonald-Milne. Jocelyn is a long-time supporter of the religious communities in Solomon Islands following her visit in 1999. 

Companion Harrison gave a presentation on the CSM chapel project and showed photographs of the work to date. The former chapel has been dismantled and work will begin on the new building in the next couple of weeks. It was good to look at the designs of the new chapel and to hear that some of those involved in the construction of St Mark’s Chapel at Tabalia are also involved in this project. UK Associates were also joined online by Pru Haldane in Brisbane. Pru is a longstanding supporter and fundraiser for CSM and has recently sent 5000 Australia dollars raised through local fundraising to the community. 

The Sisters updated us on their fundraising for the chapel to date. £70,000 has been raised so far, but more is needed to see this project through to completion. The Sisters reported that they will be asking Associates in Solomon Islands to raise £10,000 before the end of the year. UK Associates would like to match this amount and encourage UK supporters of the Sisters to donate to the Chapel appeal so that the Sisters and Novices can have a safe and modern chapel where they can meet to worship together once more.

HOW TO DONATE

There are a number of ways you can give to the UK Associates’ CSM Chapel Appeal.

Online: Visit mmuk.net/donate and give online using our Facebook or Virgin moneygiving fundraisers.

Bank Transfer: Go to mmuk.net/donate, phone 01404 851656 or email mission@mmuk.net for bank details.

By Cheque: Payable to The Melanesian Mission. Post cheques to: The Melanesian Mission, 21 The Burlands, Feniton, Honiton, EX14 3UN. Please use the reference ‘CSM Chapel’. To Gift Aid your donation please email mission@mmuk.net for a Gift Aid form.

Community of the Sisters of Melanesia

John Coleridge Patteson University

ACoM Prepares To Roll Out Work On Its New University

The Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACoM) marked the beginning of another milestone in her provision of education services  through the Dedication and Blessing of a Foundation Monument Stone and unveiling of JCPU sign board for the establishment of John Coleridge Patteson University (JCPU) at the Kosu land, Central Guadalcanal on Saturday 12th June.

“The Church is seriously taking bold steps in faith to implement her vision and make firm commitment towards establishing a tertiary education institution for the education and social needs of our nations, especially Solomon Islands and Vanuatu,” the Archbishop of ACoM the Most Rev. Leonard Dawea speaking on behalf of ACoM said in the presence of the representatives of the people of Gaobata tribe, Minister for Traditional Governance, Peace and Ecclesiastical Affairs, Hon. Samuel Manetoali, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development Dr. Franco Rodie, Honorable Premier of Guadalcanal Province Hon. Francis Sade and representatives from the Solomon Islands National University to name a few.

John Coleridge Patteson University, Dignitaries at the Foundation Stone Ceremony

“The vision to establish a Church University has long been with the Church for almost two decades after it was first discussed in the 12th General Synod held in Honiara 2008 to explore the idea. At the 13th General synod in 2011 the idea was accepted and it was decided to make the commitment to translate the foundational philosophy of the Melanesian Mission that would draw on the holistic approach to socioeconomic, educational, religious and technical development. Not only that, but to maintain her historical legacy in providing quality education opportunities to islanders since the Melanesian Mission was began in the early 1849,” Archbishop Dawea continued to explain.

“This is also to complement the continuing learning academic excellence that our major tertiary education providers, Solomon Islands National University (SINU) and University of the South Pacific (USP) currently provides,” he added.

Archbishop Dawea calls on the National Government of Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, overseas traditional partners, Guadalcanal Provincial Government, Churches, business houses and local communities to come onboard with ACoM to establish this important cause for the future of our children.

As a symbol of respect and acknowledgment to the people of Gaobata tribe, Archbishop Leonard handed over a gift of local foods (chupu) on behalf of the ACoM.

John Coleridge Patteson University,  Foundation Stone

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development Dr. Franco Rodie and Honorable Premier of Guadalcanal Province Hon. Francis Sade also pledged their support to the establishment of the JCPU.

“This is a pride to the people of Guadalcanal and so we will always be ready to support in whatever we can to this very important project,” Premier Sade said in his short speech.

As a symbol to allow ACoM to fully control the land and begin her work, Chief John Seketala of Gaobata tribe took the honor on behalf of his people to cut the ribbon at the entrance of the road going into the JCPU area where the sign board and the foundation Monument stone are erected.

Currently, JCPU under Bishop Patteson Theological college Kohimarama has already started one year Diploma in Teaching program for in-service teachers, being conducted at Saint Nicholas Anglican College.

ACoM Communications