Ecumenical Work Camp

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In 1963, when the old church had been demolished, there was an Ecumenical Work Camp of the World Council of Churches organised by Revd. Cyril Summers and Brian Selby. The members came from all over the world to finish the clearing of the site and lay the drains and foundations for the new building. Angus Duncan was appointed site manager because of his commercial engineering experience. He had a few months to spare and had happened upon Community House whilst looking for a church in Newport. It was after his experiences of the workcamp at Community House that he decided to become a Minister.
The 23 campers were from 11 different countries and were from many different Christian denominations, incnludong Anglicans, Baptists, Greek Orthodox, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians abd Reformed.
As Angus Duncan describes in his interview, that they carried out "soul destroying work, chipping mortar off bricks".
They slept in the camp house in The Adult Education Centre on Stow Hill and were allocated homes in which they could bath.  They had their main meal at a school canteen.
Apart from the work on the site they had a programme to follow and they also worshipped with the members of the church, joining in the house group meetings.  Their 4 weeks in Newport must have been an amazing time.  Brian and Adrienne from Community House, who were also members of the work camp, did much of the organising.
The other campers were Sawwas (called Papa), Guy, Salma, Samuel, Paul, Robert, Mavis, Norna, Kirsten,Lars, Bill, Jackie, Doris, Johanna, Hajo, Birgit, Heinrich (called Heinz), Alfred, Marianne and Maya.
To quote from Revd Cyril Summer's book 'A People's Pilgrimage' p47 "Certainly something of the energy, enthusiasm, humour, gaiety, faith, their spirit of hopefulness and of love entered into the life of the church."
"They all made their unique contributions, coming as they did, from a rich and colourful variety of backgrounds.  They carried through their own programme, and also worshipped with the Church and joined hte House groups for prayer and Bible study.  Some Church members, young and not so young, joined with them at work and on afternoon excursions deepening understanding and strengthening friendships."