Moore turns 160 as new building rises

Read Moore turns 160 as new building rises

Moore College has turned 160, as a new six-level Learning and Teaching Centre is starting to take shape at the Newtown campus.

A 130-tonne crane has been erected in the building’s lift well and at 43 metres high it can be seen for kilometres around.

The new centre will house a world-class library and teaching facilities, with room for expansion. The facility will have five times the number of individual and group study spaces there were previously, a further eight tutorial rooms, a united faculty space and an assembly hall. The new library will also be able to store double the number of items onsite.

Basic formwork and concrete pouring has been done on three levels and the building has risen to half its final height of about 24 metres, with about 30 tonnes of steel used on each floor as reinforcement. Work has also begun on services such as water, drainage and electrical circuits.

Despite the inconvenience of the construction work Moore College students have begun to gain some benefits. Landscaping work has already been done outside the building, including a refurbished College Green.

However, as the building rises so does the need to reach the fundraising goal. The college still urgently needs another $4.8 million in donations or it will be forced to sell property in order to finance the project.

“That is something we really can’t afford to do if we are to continue to grow and serve the needs of gospel ministry in Sydney, and around the world, in the challenging years ahead,” said the college’s principal the Rev Dr Mark Thompson.

“The college expanded its campus to provide accommodation for married students throughout the second half of the 20th century and into our own. Faithful, generous men and women made this possible and have secured an increasingly unique experience of being shaped by the knowledge of God in the context of a Christian scholarly community. We certainly don’t want to whittle away at that legacy in order to reach the amount needed.” 

Tributes paid

Past principals and lecturers have sent greetings in a low-key marking of the 160th anniversary of the founding of the college at Liverpool, NSW in 1856 with one teacher and three students. It came into being as the result of a legacy from Thomas Moore, at first a carpenter and boat builder in the early colony and then a magistrate and landowner in Liverpool.

The original Moore College building

It was Bishop Frederic Barker, the second bishop of Sydney who realised this vision and set the College on its course of preparing men and women to take the gospel to the world.

The College remained on Moore’s property in Liverpool until 1888 and then reopened in Newtown in 1891.

Among the tributes on the college's webpage:

God’s extraordinary generosity towards us as a college throughout the last 160 years is something for which we all give great thanks. The thousands of graduates who have grown in their knowledge of God as a result of studying here, gaining confidence in God’s word and a clarity about the urgency of the gospel, who have loved and served God’s people in a vast array of contexts over that time, are our great joy. Fragile and fallible though we are, God has chosen to use the men and women who have studied and taught here in astounding ways. As the College faces an exciting future with new facilities and an exceptionally gifted and godly faculty committed to serving the churches in Sydney and the world, we recognise that we are as dependent upon God’s grace as ever and the need to hear the gospel of the crucified and risen Saviour is still the most urgent need of our broken and battered world.

Moore’s current principal, Dr Mark Thompson

We live in great days. The Christian faith is being spread more widely than ever before. At the same time, not surprisingly, it is being assailed and assaulted. We need a firm and confident grasp of the biblical truth. Our knowledge of the Bible must be profound. My experience of the world-wide Christian movement makes it all the more clear that Moore College has a key role to play. Of course we understand that the strength of the churches in our own Diocese owes a huge amount to the College. But increasingly this is so of the resilience of biblical faith around Australia and in many places in the world. In the face of great difficulties, the College has committed itself to a relational model of theological education, depending on residence and full time study where possible. This is difficult to sustain, but the results are worth the effort. At the same time, the external courses, available now on-line, provide a biblical clarity and knowledge for thousands of students in over forty countries.
When you support Moore College, you may be sure that you are involved in a key enterprise for the sake of the kingdom of God with large and enduring consequences for decades ahead.

Dr Peter Jensen, former Archbishop of Sydney and former Moore College principal

Sixty years ago (the Centenary year) I entered Moore College as a student. It has been a significant part of my life in varying ways ever since. I have watched as full-time training of men for the Anglican ministry in Sydney has become full-time training of men and women for ministry in several denominations around Australia and around the world. The missionary emphasis, of course, has always been there, but the growth of the world-reach of the College since its early days has been phenomenal. Moore has always striven for academic excellence, especially in biblical studies and theology. It has pioneered a resurgence of sound Biblical Theology in the Reformed and Evangelical world. I have watched as an External Studies Course started in Archbishop Mowll’s day for lay readers and preachers in Sydney Diocese has become a comprehensive world-wide theological education course. From the tuition of a handful of Sydney men the courses now serve over five thousand students around the world. An enormous expansion of the courses in Latin America has led to the establishment of MOCLAM (Moore College en Latino America) with the courses and other Christian literature translated into Spanish. We can only marvel at the goodness and faithfulness of God as he has given his blessing on the work of training men and women for gospel ministry.

Dr Graeme Goldsworthy, former faculty member

The changes to Moore College in the last sixty years (when I first walked through the gates of 1 Carillon Avenue to complete my matriculation and four year theological training) have been monumental, and clear evidence of God’s amazing goodness to us. Thousands of students have received a wonderful full-time theological education that has deepened their relationship to Christ from the study of God’s word within a biblical theological framework. Through our graduates Christ’s gospel has spread throughout Australia and beyond, while the scholarly influence of the faculty around the globe has been profound.  May the Lord continue to use the College for the glory of Christ, the good of his people and in reaching out to a lost and broken world.

Dr Peter O’Brien, former faculty member and CMS missionary

Throughout its long history Moore College has produced thousands of faithful, biblically based church ministers as well as significant numbers of world class scholars.  These are tangible signs of God’s rich blessings on the college and the vision of its founding benefactor, Thomas Moore.

Dr Paul Barnett, Former Bishop of North Sydney 

Photos above: The original College in Liverpool and the current Learning and Teaching Centre under construction



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