Links between Olney, England and Newton, Sierra Leone
John Newton (1725 – 1807) was an Englishman who was ‘press ganged’ into the Royal Navy. He later became captain of a slave ship and certainly worked from, and possibly lived on, Bunce Island, a major slave fort, close to Freetown, Sierra Leone.
He was nearly killed in a bad storm at sea and decided to repent and totally change his life. He became ordained as an evangelical Anglican cleric, serving the town of Olney in Buckinghamshire. He is known for writing the very famous hymn ‘Amazing Grace’…’which saved a wretch like me’.
Whilst in Olney, he became great friends with the poet, William Cowper (visit the Cowper and Newton Museum, Olney). They became prominent supporters of abolitionism – stopping the African Slave Trade. Working with friends such as politician William Wilberforce, they made a huge contribution towards the passing of the Slave Trade Act 1807 and the abolition of slavery.
In recognition of this, a town just outside of the capital city of Freetown, Sierra Leone, was named after Newton. There have been strong links between the towns of Newton and Olney for many years. Recognising the challenges that are faced by the population of Sierra Leone, one of the poorest countries in the World, the Olney Newton Link is doing as much as possible to work in partnership with and give support to the residents of Newton.
Read more in ‘About’ on the menu bar.
Read more about John Newton here
Success! Preschool’s end of term ceremony
We are really pleased to say that all of the hard work has paid off! The Preschool, which we helped to set up in response to the Ebola crisis which killed so many, is now up and running and doing really well.
Set up to look after young orphaned children whilst carers worked, the Preschool has just celebrated it’s first end of term ceremony. We’re told that the children read and sang, prizes were awarded and speeches made. A great success!
The photograph shows a teacher and pupil reading rhymes, with Val King the Chair of the Newton Committee in the background.
Further photographs can be found under ‘Projects‘