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Methodist schools staff inspired by Methodism’s rich heritage

A section of the school staff listening attentively to Bishop Dr Solomon. – Methodist Message picture.

MORE than 150 principals, vice-principals, senior teachers and Christian Ministry Staff of our Methodist schools attended a talk recently on “Methodism” given by Bishop Dr Robert Solomon.

The talk, organised by the Council on Education, which is headed by the Bishop, was given at Sophia Blackmore Hall at Methodist Centre on Feb 6, 2004 and ended with a tour of the premises and a tea reception.

It was the first visit to Methodist Centre for many of the school staff who serve the 14 Methodist schools. The majority of them are not Methodists, and they left the talk inspired by the rich heritage of Methodism and The Methodist Church in Singapore.

Bishop Dr Solomon told them that a good grasp of the rich heritage and tenets of Methodism patterned after its founder, John Wesley, as well as an understanding of the structure of The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) would remind them of the importance of the ethos of Methodist schools.

By understanding the essence of Methodism, they would be better able to identify themselves with the mission and objectives of the Methodist schools. “We should know why our Methodist schools are different from other schools, and why we do things differently from other schools,” he added.

With a PowerPoint presentation, Bishop Dr Solomon touched on John Wesley’s work, the beginnings of Methodism, the “birth” of Methodism in Singapore, our beliefs and distinctives, and the work and mission of the MCS.

The Bishop also dwelt on the importance Wesley and the earliest missionaries attached to education.

He said: “Anglo-Chinese School was opened in 1886, one year after the Methodist Church was established in Singapore. The year after that, Methodist Girls’ School was opened, and after that, Fairfield MGS. It’s remarkable that our founders were able to set up schools so soon after the Church was established.”

Said a teacher while enjoying her tea: “I never knew that our school is so steeped in history and so rich in heritage and tradition.”