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From the Melanesian Mission
Last weekend personnel from Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education travelledl to Vanuatu in the Pacific Ocean, to begin a project which will overhaul the governance of Anglican Schools in the country. The Blackburn team will spend two weeks in Luganville, where the Anglican Church has its headquarters, gathering information about the present systems and discussing the requirements for budgets, targets, evaluation and reporting.
The project has been prompted by an agreement in principle to take back over 30 former church schools which have been under the Government's responsibility since the country's independence. The Anglican Church in Vanuatu approached the Melanesian Mission to help them prepare for this increase in responsibility and stretching of resources.
Blackburn Diocese has one of the largest number of Anglican Church schools in the UK, and a growing reputation for its expertise in governance. In recent years, they have worked on similar overseas projects in Sri Lanka and Hong Kong.
Melanesian Mission Trustee, Andrew Cartwright, who will be travelling with the team, said: "We are very fortunate that Paul Lock, Blackburn's Director of Education, and his team including Daphne Durham and Lisa Fenton, are prepared to commit their resources to this project in conjunction with the Melanesian Mission.
"The intention is that between the end of this year and April 2014, a package of proposals will be worked up by Blackburn in discussion with the church, and that the team will go back in 2014 to assist in implementation and training. Finally there will be a follow-up visit to review the work to date in 2015."
"There are three components to the project – embedding a Christian ethos in all of the school's activity; professional governance of schools individually and collectively, and the development of the curriculum.
"If all goes well, the intention is to roll the same work out in the Solomon Islands during 2014, and to offer ongoing assistance in both countries to support teacher training and continuous professional development, " said Andrew.
The Melanesian Mission asks for prayer support for the team as they work in Vanuatu.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we pray for those from the Diocese of Blackburn who have committed themselves to working in partnership with those engaged in education in Vanuatu.
As they travel and build relationships,
Lord of light, shine on them, shine on me;
Lord of peace, dwell in them, dwell in me;
Lord of might, succour them, succour me;
Lord of love, enfold them, enfold me;
Lord of wisdom, enlighten them, enlighten me.
Then, Lord, through your Spirit empower us as your witnesses us to share the good news of your mighty love for us in the gift of your Son, our saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Notes to News Editors: - The Melanesian Mission is an Anglican mission agency that provides support to the Church of Melanesia through prayer, people and financial grants. It works along side the Church of Melanesia in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia on numerous projects.