Bishop McAllister College & Bishop McAllister Anglican Seminary, Rectors Newsletter (February, 2021)

Greetings from all of us at Bishop McAllister College and Anglican Seminary! We reopened on January 18th with just under 200 students, the finalists in their respective sections. While we continue to face a few challenges, things are actually going quite well. We have received good news this past week. The Ministry of Education has given the green light for all students to return to school. It still won’t be quite back to normal as the different classes have their returns staggered over the coming months to avoid overcrowded conditions and congestion. So over the next few months we still won’t have everyone at the same time. I believe this will work very well at least for the students. Schools have been instructed to not have exams which take up a considerable amount of time each term, but instead to concentrate on teaching new material so students catch up top where they should be in the syllabus. Teachers will need your prayers, as while this staggered format will work well for students, teachers will loose much of their normal vacation time that follows each term. While the calendar for entire year hasn’t been released I expect it will take us into early 2022 so that the students are completely back on track.

On another note we have made a little progress on the music department in 2021, due to a few donations and pledges. which is quite encouraging. We have been able to lay the foundations for the Keyboard Lab and MDD Building (Music, Dance, and Drama). The Choral Rehearsal Room has also taken another step from the first ring beam to the second ring beam . One step at a time!

March 2020

 

February 19th, 2021

We are excited about the progress, even these small steps. Our hope is to roof the choral rehearsal room this year if all goes well . Things are beginning to look up! “To God be the Glory!”

I can’t tell you how much we appreciate everyones support for so many years. With your help we are truly making a difference. May God continue to bless and keep you!

Paul

Rev. Canon Paul Jeffries

Rector

Bishop McAllister College & Bishop McAllister Anglican Seminary

“To God be the Glory!”

Bishop McAllister College Music Department Update (December 2020)

Bishop McAllister Music Department – December 7th, 2020

Dear Friends,

With the library project coming to a successful conclusion in 2019, my mind began to turn in a new direction. Over the years I have seen first hand the love and passion students and adults have for Music, Dance, and Drama, nowhere more so than in the schools annual Music, Dance and Drama competition, and more recently as hosts to West Ankole Diocese church choir competitions in the same category. But more than this there have many examples over the year of the students love for music and a desire to learn and develop their talent, whether it is the choir, or learning the key board. We have been very fortunate for a number of students who taught themselves how to play the keyboard and helped facilitate chapel worship. It seemed now was the time to give them a great opportunity. So I began to dream a bit about a program for Music, Dance and Drama. A program that would also include opportunities to learn to play a variety of musical instruments, particularly the keyboard but including guitar and drums, and revitalising the school brass band.

So this is what I came up with …..

For those of you have known me and have supported this ministry over the years, you know I’m always prepared to dream a bit, always ready with a plan to match, but never big on the details like a time frame, other than God’s time. But always ready to take the first step and see where it goes from there.

So in January 2020 I resolved that we should take the first step and see what happens. And so we did.

Step one was to clear the space where the new music department was to be constructed.

As we prepare new site for construction (as well as harvest timbers), we were joined today by Chairman of BOG Lay Canon Freedom James and my long time friend and colleague, Rev. Canon Caleb Twinamatsiko, former Headteacher of Bishop McAllister College to break ground for our new music department project. Praise God for this wonderful start to the new year!

By March we were under way with construction of the foundation for the Choral Rehearsal Room. Praise God for this incredible development.

By mid – March we were making steady progress ….

By the end of March we had reached the first ring beam. Praise God!

With the coming of Covid and school closure work came to a halt. But only for a short time we hope and pray! We are so grateful for everyones financial support which has brought this far.

To God be the Glory”

May God continue to bless and keep you!

Paul

Bishop McAllister College Rector’s Newsletter (December 2020)

Rectors Newsletter – December 3rd, 2020

Greetings from Uganda! It is has turned out to be a year none of us would ever have anticipated. We got off to a great start in February. Students had reported for the new school year and had quickly settled in to the school routine, the library was opened and being used for the first time, and even work had begun on the new music department. We were all full of great optimism for what 2020 had in store for us.

It wasn’t long before news of Covid began to trickle in to us, but like everyone around the world we had no sense of how bad this was going to be. I was still planning to travel home in March, and everything was going smoothly at school. At the beginning of March I could see travel was getting complicated so cancelled my trip, and tried to prepare the school for what might be coming our way. No one could believe me, but in less than three weeks all schools were closed in Uganda.

Again there was no sense of urgency, all of us expected this to be a short term thing, and we would reopen within a months time. Well within in a months time I found myself giving away a month worth of food (that was meant to take us to the end of term)that was in the store before it spoiled. As the one month became two, then three months and so forth I began to panic fearing what this was going to do to the school and the impact it would have on the staff and students. By July I found it necessary to launch an appeal for help.

The response was tremendous. I’m so grateful for the positive response I received from the many Churches, groups and individuals who have supported the school for so many years. The funds that have been sent and the funds that are on the way are going to make a great difference in the coming months and into the new year.

In October he government decided in its wisdom schools should partially open, and that finalists could return to school. This means the senior students of each section (elementary, middle school, and high school) would return and complete their school year and sit final exams. For many private schools like Bishop McAllister partial opening would be very challenging financially. The number of students returning would not cover operating costs, even with cut backs, before even considering the accumulated costs of maintaining schools while closed or the costs of implementing the SOP’s issued by the Ministry of Education. Some private schools chose to simply not open.

But thanks be to God Bishop McAllister College was not in the same position as others. Because of our unique facilities and financial support from overseas we have been able to reopen relatively smoothly. There were a couple of hectic weeks trying to put everything in place, restructuring and organizing teachers who were being called back, and helping them prepare to adjust to new working conditions and even subjects/topics they may have not been teaching prior to the schools closing.

I’m happy to report that on October 15th we successfully reopened for finalists. We were inspected a few days before to see that we had met all the new SOP’s, and we were given a certificate allowing us to open. One of the big challenges for most schools was how to meet the requirement of social distancing in classrooms. For many schools it meant taking one class and dividing it into five classes, multiply the teaching lessons and cost by the same number. But as I mentioned our facilities saved us. While I might never anticipated this, the library now houses the two classes from middle school, the dining hall the high school class, and the Chapel of St. John the Evangelist the elementary class. 

It was a whole new world for students (and teachers) as they arrived at the gate.

Masks must be on before entering (and worn at all times). The next step was to have your temperature checked, then wash your hands and have your property sprayed. Throughout the school we have placed new hand washing stations at dorms, classrooms, and kitchen to encourage frequent hand washing, and signs and posters are scattered every where offering reminders of what we should be doing. Wearing our masks, washing our hands, not touching our face, and social distancing. So far we off to a good start. Staff and students will have their temperature checked on a daily basis.

The finalist program will take us up until May 3rd when the last exam will be completed (normally they are completed early December).

As for all the lower classes we don’t know what the future holds. There are hints and rumours that all students will report back to school in January. The Ministry of Education is now in the process of reinspecting schools to see how well the SOP’s were implemented and maintained. As there have been no serious problems since schools reopened in October I’m optimistic that some additional classes if not all of them will be allowed to return. The one difficulty I see would be is whether or not it is possible to maintain the SOP’s with an increased number of students present on campus.

No doubt the road ahead is long, and will be full of challenges. But I’m confident that we are prepared to meet and overcome what ever comes our way. Of course none of this would be possible without the prayers and financial support that has provided us with such wonderful facilities, and the financial support that has come in response to our appeal for assistance.

On behalf of everyone here, thank you so much for your continued love and support.

God bless! Paul

Bishop McAllister College Appeal (July 2020)

July 20, 2020

Dear Friends,

I am writing to update you about the status of the school and to request your prayers and support as Bishop McAllister School and Seminary face their greatest threat in my 23 years here.

On March 18th all schools in Uganda were abruptly closed due to COVID 19 for a period of 30 days. After several extensions, all schools in Uganda were closed indefinitely. It is now unlikely that we shall reopen before February 2021.

When we closed in March we suffered a loss of $15,600 USD in unremitted fees and an additional $8,200 already spent on food that had to be given away. While this was an enormous loss to us (about 7% of our annual operating budget), we hoped to be able to survive assuming that we would collect fees for the second and third terms of this year. Now as we face losing the entire year of fees the financial challenges on several fronts could jeopardize our entire ministry. Our teaching and non teaching staff have remained unpaid for three months and could remain without any income until February 2021. The school continues to have a basic operating staff, security, grounds keepers etc, and there are bills mounting each day that we are closed. Our annual operating budget is based solely on the collection of school fees, of which 27% comes from sponsorship. We are in need of funds to maintain and secure our property and facilities, to provide some small support to our teaching staff whom we will need on reopening and to make sure that we have funds at opening to purchase food and other necessities for a boarding school of 750 students. 

With the encouragement of leaders and supporters in both Canada and the USA I am launching an Appeal, BMCK 2020. I know many churches and individuals are facing financial constraints just now, and I would not ever suggest christians should divert their support from their local churches, but only appeal to those who are able to support this one time effort. My target would be to raise $40,000 USD. $20,000 would be to cover current operating costs, including the maintenance of the schools property and buildings, and ensure the school was ready to open smoothly with food and other necessities unhand as soon as we are given permission to open. The additional $20,000 would be allocated for teachers and non teaching staff, providing them with a small living allowance per month. Gifts may be sent for BMCK to the Diocese of Fredericton. Lastly, the other way of keeping Bishop McAllister College stable is by supporting the student sponsorship program. This important program not only provides needy students an opportunity to go to school, but also provides a certain amount of financial stability for the school. Currently we more than 30 students enrolled in their first year who are seeking assistance. Many of these may be forced to drop out when school resumes, a negative impact both for the young student as well as the school.

I am so grateful for your partnership in this work, for our hundreds of successful graduates who are serving in all walks of life (priests, teachers, doctors, lawyers, including several working internationally in the field of computer engineering), for the Child Sponsorship Programme and for our able and loyal staff. We have grown from a small two room to a two stream school know in the province and country for our excellence in morals, discipline, teaching, sports and music thanks to God’s grace and provision.

Your Servant in Christ,

Rev. Canon Paul Jeffries

Rector Bishop McAllister College

https://bishopmcallisterschool.com

 

Send Gifts payable to Anglican Diocese of Fredericton with a MEMO BMCK 2020

Mail to:

Anglican Diocese of Fredericton

115 Church St.

Fredericton, NB

E3B 4C8

New Music Department Project at Bishop McAllister College in Uganda

Message from Rev. Canon Paul Jeffries at Bishop McAllister College in Uganda:

As we prepare new site for construction (as well as harvest timbers), we were joined today by Chairman of BOG Lay Canon Freedom James and my long time friend and colleague, Rev. Canon Caleb Twinamatsiko, former Headteacher of Bishop McAllister College to break ground for our new music department project. Praise God for this wonderful start to the new year!

Architects Artistic Drawings of Music Department L-R Band/Dance/Drama Rehearsal Room; Electronic Keyboard Lab; Choral Rehearsal Room; Ensemble Room.
Boys dorm in background; St. Andrews Church foreground.
 

Bishop McAllister College and Anglican Seminary Library is Complete!

Here is a picture of the completed library project at Bishop McAllister College and Anglican Seminary in Uganda.

Library-complete

This wonderful message celebrating the school was also shared recently by Rev. Paul Jeffries: 

Over 2000 orphans and less privileged Ugandans have gone through this hill without paying a coin. They enter when all they have is hope and leave with material and dreams they hoped for. Thousands have risen from grass to grace… Many are working here and abroad as Professors, Clergy, Engineers, Doctors, Lawyers, Journalists, Teachers, business gurus…etc .. Thank you Canon Paul Jeffries, Canon Caleb Twinamatsiko and the gracious givers in USA and Canada. Mwebare kutuha amatsiko. Long live Bishop McAllister College.

Yedidia Nyakahangura

Overhead1Overhead2

2019 Spring and Summer Updates from Bishop McAllister College and Anglican Seminary in Uganda

There has been a lot going on at Bishop McAllister College since our last update from Rev. Paul Jeffries in March, 2019.

There has been great progress on our new library! Anticipate completion of construction October 2019! To God be the Glory!

Samples of future library furniture completed!

It has been 15 years since began our dining hall project. Lots of delays of course as other more pressing demands came up. But thanks be to God, it is now complete! Over the past few months we have plastered the interior walls, finished the floor, built the veranda, and plastered the exterior of the building. Just finished the painting. Praise God!Dining Hall complete after 15 years! Thanks be to God!

Ten years on, construction of the Chapel of St. John the Evangelist is now complete! Praise God!

Rector’s Challenge 2019

Students sing in inter house competitions #bishopmcallistercollegekyogyera.

Students and pupils showing their talents in MDD. Its been a wonderful weekend at the hill. Canon Caleb you must be missing this!!!!!

Tr.Marie giving out sports’ equipment and telescope to the school!!!!!

Palm Sunday and Easter Vigil 2019

PTA Meeting, Resurrection Race and more…