St Bede’s college Ashing kom, Bamenda, Cameroon
Our school welcomed the opportunity to twin with a secondary school, St Bede’s College, in Ashing-Kom, in the North-West Province of Cameroon in West Africa. This opportunity arose because Portsmouth Diocese has been twinned with the Archdiocese of Bamenda since 1974. Initially, Bishop Worlock sent priests out to minister in Bamenda; decades later, the Archbishop has sent the Portsmouth Diocese up to four priests at any one time to serve in our parishes! The Portsmouth Diocese has an annual collection on the first Sunday of November to support many projects in Bamenda, including faith, education, health and social welfare initiatives.
We are committed to raising funds throughout the year to assist St Bede’s College and its students on a material level, as well as seeking to raise awareness of the Bamendan way of life and generally developing our twinning relationship to grow in mutual love and understanding of each other.
St Bede’s College is a co-educational secondary college of 900 students. It has a strong academic record, particularly in Physics, Chemistry, English Language, Mathematics and Bilingualism. It also develops students’ skills in sports, farming and compound care, and nurtures their spiritual life. St Bede’s will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its foundation in October 2023.
In February 2014, six Bishop Challoner students and three staff were very privileged to join Bishop Philip’s delegation to Bamenda to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Diocesan twinning. Amidst the 10-day trip, we were able to spend two days at St Bede’s College to enable us to gain a good understanding of their school and explore how we could develop the twinning arrangement in the future, plus visiting many different primary and secondary schools. It was an amazing experience!
Archbishop Cornelius of Bamenda led a return delegation to Portsmouth in June 2014, which included the Headteacher and one of the Vice Principals of St Bede’s College. They stayed with us for nine days, which gave us a great opportunity for in-depth discussions about our respective systems and cultures and for them to observe lessons and meet with colleagues and students.
We actively encourage other schools to twin with Bamendan schools and for parishes, to support Bamenda Sunday and adopt a project in Bamenda or twin with a parish.
We are extremely pleased that after a very challenging political situation in Bamenda, St Bede’s College has re-opened. If you would like to find out more about Bamenda and the work carried out by the Diocese please visit https://www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk/living-as-a-catholic/out-in-the-community/bamenda/
|Prayer for our sister school:
Heavenly Father, we pray for the students and staff of St Bede’s College,
our sister school in Bamenda: keep them safe in your care.
May our communities grow in love and understanding of You and of one another.
We make these prayers through Christ our Lord.