Our relationship with the Church of North India (CNI) has long been managed by the Friends of Jagadhri, many of whose members have worked in India or visited several times. Longstanding support has been given to St. Thomas’ School, the School of Nursing and Christian Hospital in Jagadhri, and CNI congregations. There is a wide prayerful and financial support base for the Friends of Jagadhri throughout New Zealand. As a result of the changing context in India, over the past two years there has been a gradual move towards the development of a new mission project in conjunction with the CNI. St. Thomas’s school has now become self-sufficient and no longer needs our financial support. Christian Hospital continues to provide services to the community but is also undergoing a process of change. So in consultation with the Church of North India we have been exploring new mission possibilities. The first step in this process has seen Somervell Presbyterian Church establish a mission partnership with Avalon Girls School in the Northern Punjab. This will provide scholarships for girls to stay at the hostel and attend the school. So the structure and direction of our support for mission in India may change over the next few years, but our commitment remains strong and we invite members of the PCANZ to find out more and join us on the journey. If you have a particular interest in mission in India, please contact Global Mission Coordinator Phil King.
Staff and students at Avalon School in the northern Punjab
Here is the latest edition of the Friends of Jagadhri newsletter, with news of a recent visit to India by members of PCANZ. Friends of Jagadhri was formed in 1986 under the umbrella of the PCANZ to help support the Christian outreach of Jagadhri. This includes the work of the Christian Hospital and the School of Nursing. See below about the changes at St. Thomas’ school. The Friends support the work with their prayers, their giving and their interest and encouragement. The Friends of Jagadhri newsletter is published twice annually and you can request a subscription.
Phil King with two of the sponsored nursing school students
Nursing School students dancing at the welcome ceremony for first year students
The Church of North India has been supporting Dalits in their struggle for equal rights. This article describes what happened when church leaders organised a peaceful march in protest at the lack of progress on Dalit rights.
More information about the mission of the Church of North India can be found on their website, www.cnisynod.org
Until recently, Friends of Jagadhri financially supported St. Thomas School through the St. Thomas School Scholarship Fund. This is a capital fund deposited with the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and administered by the Global Mission Office. The fund was established in 1993 by the Women's Missionary Fellowship of the Fairfield Presbyterian Church in Hamilton to acknowledge the excellent service of the Rev Doreen Riddell, who was the founding Principal of the school. Doreen was also the last New Zealand Presbyterian missionary to work at the school on a full time basis. With the changes taking place in our mission partnership with the Church of North India, the fund has now been renamed the Doreen Riddell Scholarship Fund. Once suitable mission projects have been identified, future grants will continue to be made from this fund. For further information contact the Global Mission Office or Friends of Jagadhri, c/o 50/4 Admiral Cres, Hamilton 3210, New Zealand.
St Thomas School, a co-educational independent Christian school teaching in English came into being in 1966. This was the culmination of over 84 years of hard work in Christian education in Jagadhri. The result of all this hard work is that St Thomas School now has a roll of 2000 students and provides outstanding all round education from pre-primary through to year 12. It is considered to be the best school in the district which is home to over one million people. The Rev Doreen Riddell of PCANZ was its first Principal. Over the years, many needy young people have benefitted from financial assistance to study at St Thomas School, Jagadhri and are now independent and making their own contribution to the community in which they live. Continual growth and change has mean that the school has now become self-supporting and is administered through the Diocese of Delhi, and no longer requires financial support from New Zealand. This has required the the Friends of Jagadhri to review their long-standing support for PCANZ mission in India, with the result that while support for India will continue, it will undergo some changes. Donors who have previously given to the St. Thomas’ School Fund are asked to make donations to the friends of Jagadhri for General Funds, or the Christian Hospital.
Situated in the manufacturing city of Ludhiana, 300 km NW of Delhi, in the fertile Punjab, Christian Medical College and Hospital trains medical graduates and specialists, nurses, and dentists primarily for service in the 300 mission hospitals in India. Ludhiana is a manufacturing city of 4 million people. Global Mission no longer has a direct relationship with Ludhiana Christian Medical Centre but many people still share a keen interest in it, and donations are stil received and passed on to the Centre.