Monday, October 09, 2017

First outstation Anglican Church Banting Town Exploration with Borneo Explorer

The river at Lingga and Banting are Batang Klauh to Batang Seterap to Batang Lupar are famous for the crocodile. There are many stories on crocodile eating man. But the local children still dare to swim in the river 😥
The first outstation Anglican Church was erected in Banting, Sri Aman, after visit by Rajah James Brooke and the Rev. Dr. Thomas MdDougall in 1859. 

The local people told me that this is the 2nd oldest church in Sarawak.

Made from Belian wood, the Banting Church was consecrated on 17th July 1859 the same year. The old church, which has been renovated, is still used by the Iban Christians in the Banting vicinity. 
The guide told me that this is the only gravestone which made by bronze.
Banting was one of the first stations chosen by the early Christian missionaries of the Anglican Communion from which to spread the Gospel.
Some history about this place
The first seed: a flop
The Anglican Mission in the Second Division had its baptism of fire at Skrang in 1851. Pioneering missionaries produced not a single convert among the people there.

In January 1853, Chambers, one of them, had to stop travelling around as Rentap’s men were on the warpath. Bereton, in charge of the government’s fort there, had summoned Alan Lee at Lingga, for help.

During a battle on the river in front of a stockade, Lee was killed.
So the fort had to be moved to Simanggang and it became Fort Alice in 1864.

No longer a safe place, the Anglican Mission also had to move downriver, eventually to Banting, where the Seed began to sprout.

Of the converts at Banting, one Ingkul was the first to be baptised in 1855.
Practically all the priests and church workers had come from England; many struggled to survive under harsh tropical conditions. Despite the difficulties, several priests managed to spread the Gospel to other districts, for instance, to Sebetan and Kerian.

As the Church membership expanded, more workers were needed. For this, Banting was made a centre of training for the catechists, teachers and health workers.

Education was another component of the Mission’s work.

Over a period of a century and a half, the school at Banting must have produced hundreds of students who later became teachers, government servants, businessmen, and other professionals. 

Of recent interest is the fact that Penghulu Tawi Sli, second chief minister of Sarawak (1966-1969) was a teacher at Banting.
The Batang Klauh (Klauh River), the connection to the outside world is by boat on this river.
There are two longhouse next to the school, and my friends and I visited the longhouse
This longhouse have 48 doors, and its very old. I notice there are quite a lot of rotten wood on the floor. 

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