The Wales Evangelical School of Theology (WEST) dedication service was held on Saturday 25 September in West’s College grounds in Bridgend.
Rev. Geoff Thomas of Aberystwyth, the invited preacher, spoke on ‘For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified’ (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Earlier, WEST Principal, Jonathan Stephen, gave an encouraging report, telling attendees that in recent weeks several WEST men had been ordained and inducted into pastorates in England and Wales.
Out of a student body of 150, 100 are from the UK and the remaining 50 (mainly postgraduates) are from 20 countries, although government visa controls make it difficult for overseas students to meet entry requirements.
Mr Stephen thanked Louise-Joy Souillot for her excellent work as registrar. She is to move to North Yorkshire after her marriage to former student, Jim Day, now a pastor in Ingleton. Tibbie Kendall is already in post as her replacement.
Marcus Hobson was studying full time and in his final year. He was thanked for many years work in WEST’s library, which would stop at Christmas. Joseph Wisener was combining librarianship and study and had overseen major improvements to the library.
The Principal praised the role of volunteers in college life. He said that excellent stewardship had seen WEST’s finances get into better shape; and the college looks as ever to churches for support in training future leaders.
New students interviewed in the service included Alan Cartwright from Rugby; Darrin Gilchrist from the USA and working with Caersalem Baptist Church, St Mellons; Julie Gower from Dudley; Ashkan Samardi; Jonathan Wilson from Blackpool; Phil Davis, a retired GP from Neath, who is studying part-time; and Paul Delbridge.
Other interviewees were Johnny McLean, who, with his wife Ann, are missionaries in Thailand but having a sabbatical at WEST; another couple studying for further mission work in a sensitive area in the Far East; Tegegn Bayissa; and Peter Killingley, who feels called to minister the gospel in Pembrokeshire.