Bishopdale Theological College students have access
to three libraries.
The College’s Bishop Sutton
Library (incorporating the Diocese of Nelson Theological Library) is housed on campus at Bishop
Eaton House, 30 Vanguard Street. This library will provide students with most of the books required to
fulfil essay and exam requirements for their courses. This library's collection is included on the Anglicat catalogue.
Access to the catalogue is through the John Kinder website - choose "Anglicat Catalogue Search" - top right of page. When searching this catalogue, be sure to choose Bishop Sutton Library from the drop down list of libraries ("show options") and select the button reading "only retrieve records with copies at selected libraries". This will limit the search to books held at The Bishop Sutton Library.
Two libraries at a distance are also available.
Students can use the Laidlaw College Library at
Henderson, Auckland via an online catalogue and a
postal service. The John Kinder Theological Library
based at St John’s College, Meadowbank, Auckland
is also available, with access via an online catalogue
and a postal service.
Both these libraries subscribe to a database which
gives full text access to 300 theological journals, which
can be searched through using the library web sites.
Bishop Sutton Library Hours
10 am - 4 pm
9 am - 5 pm
10 am - 5 pm
10 am - 4 pm
These hours may be varied during non semester days.
Access outside these hours to be arranged via email with the librarian.
Introduction to the Bishop Sutton Library
Borrower Registration Form (print version)
Editable Borrower Registration Form (may be completed and emailed)
Nelson Historical Society Article, 'The Prow' website -History of Bishopdale College
written by Allie Tonks, Nelson College for Girls
History of Bishopdale College and its Library
Approval was given by Standing Committee at its meeting on 16 September 2008 for Bishopdale Theological College to provide the oversight and housing for the historical, theological and biblical studies texts within the Diocesan Library, and to integrate them with the BTC Library.
The libraries of Bishopdale Theological College and the Diocese are now housed at Bishop Eaton House. Work has begun on recataloguing the collection of 8000 volumes so that it conforms to international standards. Our collection will eventually be recorded on the Anglicat, a combined catalogue of the Anglican collections in New Zealand, hosted by the John Kinder Theological Library in Auckland, and available on the world-wide web.
A Library Committee has been formed. It reports to the BTC Board of Trustees. In a paper to the Board at its 10 June 2009 meeting, the Committee stated that its vision for the Library is “to enhance learning, teaching, and research for the Bishop, Diocesan staff and committee members, Diocesan clergy, and lay Anglicans, as well as BTC students and staff.” To fulfil this vision 21st century library facilities, well planned collections, and efficient information services are needed.
The Committee aims to increase Diocesan library services so that they meet the standards set by the Association of New Zealand and Australian Theological Libraries. To do so, funds will need to be allocated for staffing and systems. The benefits will be evident in easier and more productive use of the information and resources available through the Library, and in growing knowledge and confidence for all users.
A brief history of the College and associated Library developments
Diocesan Synod Yearbook 1865 (p. 28) refers to a donation by Bishop Hobhouse for the purchase of Bishopdale College.
The Church Messenger November 1877 (p. 106) under the heading “Memorandum on Clerical Education” says:
“I……set before you, and so before the Church, a few facts with reference to the history and objects of Bishopdale Theological College, in order that its work may be understood, and that it may receive the support necessary for a permanent Diocesan Institution…. … …The need for men [i.e. clergy] made itself felt so much by the present Bishop of Nelson in 1867 that he at once endeavoured to prepare the way for training a small band of men on the spot, and was encouraged and enabled to proceed by two circumstances—1st. the existence of a spacious Diocesan property for the ground for the Episcopal Residence, which had been before his arrival so munificently given by Bishop Hobhouse, and was available for the erection of buildings suitable for the purposes of a Theological Hall or College; and 2nd. The fund known as the Clergy Replenishment Fund—3000 pounds—which was also munificently given by Bishop Hobhouse, the interest of which was to be applied at the discretion of the Bishop from time to time for the education of the clergy, bringing them from beyond seas or otherwise replenishing their number from time to time.
In addition to the above endowments there is one of the value of 1050 pounds, collected by Bishop Suter in England, the interest of which is applied to the stipend of a theological Tutor, or of any educational assistance necessary for the training of Theological Students, which fund is constantly receiving and is open to receive additions.
With these important foundations the Bishop of Nelson has proceeded, and since 1868 students have continuously been resident under the Bishop’s superintendence. Six have been ordained… …
The present Bishop of Nelson at his private expense has constructed an additional building suitable for containing six students with resident Assistant tutor, and a chapel is just finished, to which subscriptions have already been gladly received.
The cost of the buildings and the chapel has necessarily been very heavy, and the Bishop will gladly receive help from those who sympathise with him in his work, and are willing to help him in bearing its burden. Contributions would therefore be accepted by him, for the Building fund or for the tutorship Endowment Fund, and will be duly acknowledged in the Church papers.”
Ault, H.F. The Nelson Narrative : the story of the Church of England in the Diocese of Nelson, New Zealand 1858 to 1958 (with an account of the years 1842 to 1857). Nelson, The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Nelson, 1958. (p. 328)
In the List of Dates 1840 – 1958, Ault records that on September 10th, 1868,“the first Bishopdale Residence was dedicated”. This seems to confirm the view that Bishopdale Theological College began in 1868.
Diocesan Synod Yearbook 1869 (p. 73) – Standing Committee Report: Bishop Suter made additions to his residence “to accommodate candidates for Holy Orders.” Funding came from the Hobhouse Trust and Bishop Suter’s own funds.
As a postscript to his address, Bishop Suter listed 33 books that he recommended for study by members of the Diocese, “works which can be easily obtained, and at a moderate price.”
Diocesan Synod Yearbook 1874 (p. 2) Bishop Suter’s address included the following: “You desire to have your future clergy well educated. I pray God to put it in your hearts to help us in this matter. Now you are aware what we wish to do, you can see for yourselves how the system has begun to work which I laid before you five years ago. Will you not help us to make it efficient and permanent beyond all fear of going back?”
The Church Messenger, March 1876 (p. 430-431) has the address given by Bishop Suter to six Bishopdale students. The Bishop and the Ven. Archdeacon Thorpe were tutors, assisted “occasionally by others”…in providing for what appears to be the most pressing need of the Church just now.” The only reference to resources is: “If you are to be the person or parson of any district or congregation, you must be well read and thoroughly read.”
The Church Messenger 1 November 1881 (p. 89) reports the Bishop’s address to Synod. The section on Bishopdale gives a summary of the development of the Bishopdale property and reports: “in 1876-77, I added a large library and further accommodation for students… …Up to that time a limited congregation from the neighbourhood assembled in the small library, but the requirements of the College, the larger gatherings of clergy and teachers and others rendered larger accommodation necessary. Accordingly, the Chapel was begun and built… …”
The Church Messenger October 1877 (p. 93) In an address to the students by the Bishop of Nelson as Principal of Bishopdale Theological College, the Bishop tells his students that he wants them “to be well read” and also says “One point I must insist upon, and that is the committing to memory of large portions both of the Bible and also of our best authors… …”it is a strengthening of the memory,… …and disciplining of the literary taste.
The Church Messenger 1 November 1877 (p. 110) reports a motion “That the Synod desires to express its gratification at the announcement made by His Lordship the Bishop of the affiliation of the Theological College at Bishopdale to the University of New Zealand.
The Church Messenger 1 March 1879 (p.17) reports from Bishopdale as follows:
“At the recent examination (Christmas) Messrs. F.H. Spencer and A.O. Williams attained a 1st class in their respective years, and were each entitled to the prize of 3 pounds 15 shillings, from the kind gift of the Rev. J. H. Marshall, recently deceased. Such gifts are very helpful to the work, and the Bishop would gladly receive donations for prizes.” Then follows what seems to be the first reference to publications for the Library. “A valuable present of a complete set, 56 volumes, of the Parker Society’s Works has been forwarded, free of cost, from England, the gift of the Rev. J. Prescott, Chaplain, East London.
The Church Messenger 1 March 1880 (p. 9) has a long report of the Bishopdale College students taking the Bishop on a one week holiday camping trip to Mount Arthur as a thank you at the end of the year for all he had done for them throughout the year. Everyone slept under canvas, and it is noted that the Library was mistakenly left behind! [Do current students have such an arrangement with +Richard??]
The Church Messenger 1 June 1880 (p. 43) Bishop Suter has returned from General Synod in England, and in an address to the Bishopdale students says that “the clergy… …sent to represent us in the General Synod … …should give proof that they not only have read but are still reading in the strict and highest sense of the word. … …
You have numbers of books at your command, which many would envy, but you are here rather to learn how to study them and suchlike books than to study; that it is hoped will come after, and it will depend on your daily conscientiousness of study now whether the pursuit of study hereafter should be a pleasant one, or one of painful uncertainty.”
Ault, H.F. The Nelson Narrative : the story of the Church of England in the Diocese of Nelson, New Zealand 1858 to 1958 (with an account of the years 1842 to 1857). Nelson, The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Nelson, 1958. (p. 199 - 200)
Ault tells us that “There was a temporary closing of Bishopdale College during the illness of Bishop Suter (1891-92). When Bishop Mules assumed office in 1892 he planned to carry on Bishopdale much on the same lines as his predecessor, but he stated to Synod that year: “Such changes have taken place in the Colony since Bishop Suter first had students here that general training may, I think, be given more efficiently elsewhere… …Two students… …obtained scholarships at St John’s College, and are now in residence there.”
Morrell, W. P. The Anglican Church in New Zealand: a history. Dunedin, Anglican Church of the Province of New Zealand, 1973) (p. 135) “Bishopdale College virtually came to an end in 1908.”
1913 – 1914
Morrell tells us that “Bishop Sadlier was eager to revive Bishopdale College when he assumed office in 1912. … …But almost as soon as the new plan began… …the First World War broke out, and the Diocese was depleted of many of its young men. … …The College lasted from May, 1913, to August, 1914.”
Diocesan Synod Yearbook 1979 (p. 50)
Under the heading Diocesan Ministry and Resources it is reported that “Standing Committee welcomed the move to re-open Bishopdale College.” [This was in Bishop Sutton’s episcopacy, 1965 – 1990)
Diocesan Synod Yearbook 1980. (p. 19)
The report on Bishopdale College says that the co-ordinator of studies, and the Registrar “have worked hard in planning courses and ensuring that local tutorial help is available to the many groups of students who follow the lectures by cassette recordings and correspondence.”
Further, on p. 51, it is reported that the Bishop’s Advisory Committee on Ministry, “in consultation with Bishopdale College which is still evolving, is conscious of the need to respond to changing needs and opportunities for parish ministry.”
Diocesan Synod Yearbook 1982. (p. 30)
The Adult Education Council report to Synod refers to a “Lecture series at Bishopdale College, and an Audio Visual Library.”
The New Witness February 1983. (p. 2) states, “Originally Bishopdale College was a training College for clergy while Nelson was still an isolated Province of New Zealand. Today it is re-constituted for the further education of lay people, as requested by Synod in 1978. It holds a place in the world-wide T.E.E. programme (theological education by extension).”
The New Witness June 1983 (p.1) reports on the dedication (by the Archbishop of Canterbury – Robert Runcie) of a wooden library cabinet in memory of the late Dr Ian Hulme-Moir.
Diocesan Synod Yearbook 1984. (p. 24)
A resolution of Synod with the heading Video Tape Library states: “that this Synod requests the Adult Council to investigate the possibility of setting up a library of video tapes with the hope that any tapes held by the library could be used by parishes and parochial districts of the Diocese.
Diocesan Synod Yearbook1985. (p. 34 - 35)
The Adult Council recommended against setting up a library of video cassettes. In commenting on study resources, the Council said, “It is important that Parishes are aware of available resources and assess them for possible use.’
The Nelson Diocesan Board of Christian Education Annual Report stated, “Three small Library units are currently being set up or added to but have yet to prove their usefulness. Both the Youth Council and Christian Initiation resource books are stored in the Diocesan Library and may be borrowed from there. The Children’s Council is also studying the feasibility of setting up a similar supply of books for borrowing.”
Diocesan Synod Yearbook 1986. (p. 74)
Bishop Sutton, Chair of the Bishopdale College Board reported that:
“The nucleus of a library set up in the early years has been incorporated in the Bretton Library. A generous grant from SPCK (the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge) and another $1000 from Standing Committee help considerably to keep a flow of new titles added to the original collection.”
According to Ven Owen Kimberley, who was a member of the Bishopdale College Trust Board, the Library was only a small collection at this time. He recalls that it was at one time kept in Marsden House, where it was rarely used. When the Diocesan Office moved to Trafalgar Street, there was no room to house the collection, and most of it languished in boxes. It was not until the Diocesan Office moved to Halifax Street in August 1991 that space was provided for the Library.
Diocesan Synod Yearbook 1986. (p. 59)
The report of Bishopdale College to Synod includes a paragraph on the Diocesan Library. It says:
“While this is the responsibility of a separate committee, the College has a prime interest in the library, and we have been able to contribute financially towards work by a qualified librarian. We are further indebted to SPCK (the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge) for book grants which steadily update the titles available to both students and the Diocese at large.
Rev’d Canon Ron Taylor was appointed Ministry Educator for the Diocese which included responsibility for Bishopdale College. His brief, from Bishop Derek Eaton, was to provide post-ordination training for clergy, as well as continuing the courses for lay training. This work was continued by Rev’d Bob Barrett (1993 – 2001), and then by Rev’d Dr. Peter Carrell. Since the early 1990s (exact date not known) the Library has been mainly funded through a grant for “Theological Resourcing” from the St John’s College Trust Board.
I wish to acknowledge Pam Pask’s substantial contribution to this report through her research of Diocesan reports and publications.
HELEN M. STEPHEN-SMITH
Chair, Bishop Sutton Library Committee
9 November 2009