Public Lecture: History of the Melanesian Mission

6pm Friday 9th June, Christian’s Cave. All welcome.

You are invited to join visiting Archaeologist and Melanesian Mission expert Tom Sapienza for a public lecture of the history of the Melanesian Mission. The first year of the Melanesian Mission was 1849 when five Loyalty Islands youths were brought to St. John’s College, Auckland. The school moved in 1859 to St. Andrew’s College at Kohimarama in Auckland, and then in 1867 to St. Barnabas’ College on Norfolk Island, where it remained until 1920 when it transferred to Siota in the Nggela Islands. The number of students fluctuated but was generally around two hundred. For example, “out ar mission” in 1896 there were 159 men, 48 women and 6 children. Their ages varied, but most were in their teens or early twenties. The Norfolk Island school consisted of a beautiful memorial church, a boarding school, a printery and a farm. Island groups also built their own meeting houses in customary styles – and these are of particular interest to Mr. Spaienza. Mr. Sapienza hopes to share with us some very rare photos and some of the newest material he has been able to uncover. Tom is also delighted the Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies with his wife Di who are visiting Norfolk Island this week will also be in attendance. In the past 200 odd years, the Church of England, has come under various bishops (in part because of the mission) including the Bishops of London, Calcutta, Madras, Tasmania, Melanesia, New Zealand and finally the Archbishop of Sydney.

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Other opportunities to meet Glenn and Di Davies include: A ladies morning tea (to be held at the Parish Centre from 10am on Wednesday the 7th of June. All welcome). Bounty Day (where Glenn and Di will be lunching with the community in the compound). Church of England Sunday services. Holy Communion will be held as usual at St. Barnabas Mission Chapel from 8.30am and our Evening Prayer service will be at All Saints Kingston (a service 4.30pm and followed by a sing-along of Pitcairn Hymns and Norfolk Island favourites).

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