Our History - Dr Tony Hanne
After arriving in New Zealand from England as a newly qualified doctor to visit for a year and to work in a medical practice, I loved this country and stayed. I had come to know Jesus Christ as a medical student, struggled at first but then discovered the secret of the Christian life, Jesus wants to live His life in us! I was so excited about how this message could change people’s lives. Throughout the following year, the opportunities to share Jesus multiplied.
I realized how hungry young people were to learn how to grow in their Christian lives and how valuable a short Bible course could be in getting them started in learning to study the Bible for themselves. By the end of that year, the way opened to buy what is now known as Fowey Lodge. The first small group of students arrived on 1st April 1966 to study for three months. All of them were from New Zealand and some are still close friends. Gradually the school grew and students began to come from overseas, first Fiji and Australia, and then more and more countries. Now some 3000 students have come from about 75 countries.
As some students have returned to their own countries we have become involved in providing study material for online courses for leaders. This aspect of the ministry has become more important as visas to visit NZ have become more difficult.
For the first 14 years, we were part of the Capernwray Missionary Fellowship whose friendship we still enjoy. Since 1980, the school has been known as Fowey Lodge and we have been independent but close to a delightful circle of Christian ministries whose links you will see on this site. God has given us a wonderfully capable and caring group of lecturers who continue to give their time every week, some for many years now.
One of the thrilling aspects of being at Fowey Lodge has been to see our family grow and become a vital part of what we are called to do. Christine and I have been together in both the ministry and my medical practice for over 30 years. Our eldest son Nick is married to Tracey and together they have given us our first grandchild - a delightful little girl named Eva. They are very involved in ministry here in Auckland with both the Bible School and their local church. Peter, our younger son, is now my medical practice manager and oversees the logistics and maintenance projects on the property. Christal, Pete's girlfriend, is now working with events and administration at Fowey Lodge.
The Lodge itself has grown from one large house and a small cottage to a sizeable community of 9 long-term families who support the ministry, and other families and single people who are here to study, about 50 of us altogether. Every year we see a dynamic change in the lives of students and participants. This would not be possible without our core group of supporters, staff and volunteers serving the day in and day out for the greater glory of God.